Investigation of Feedback Schedules on Speech Motor Learning in Older Adults
- motor learning, feedback, generalization, speech, limb
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Background: The principles of motor learning (PML) emerged from studies of limb motor skills in healthy, young adults. The applicability of these principles to speech motor learning, and to older adults, is uncertain. Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine one PML, feedback frequency, and its effect on retention and generalization of a novel speech and comparable tracing task. Methods: Sixty older adults completed a speech motor learning task requiring the production of a novel phrase at speaking rates 2 times and 3 times slower than habitual rate. Participants also completed a limb motor learning task requiring the tracing of a sine wave 2x and 3x slower than habitual rate. Participants were randomly assigned to receive feedback every trial, every 5th trial, or every 10th trial. Mean absolute error was measured to examine immediate generalization, delayed generalization, and 2-day retention. Findings: Results suggested that feedback frequency did not have an effect on the retention and generalization of the speech or manual task, supporting the small but growing literature highlighting the constraints of generalizing the PML to other modalities and populations.
Funding: This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants T32 DC000033, P30DC04661, and the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund (A70442) awarded to Dr. Kristie Spencer. The authors gratefully acknowledge Sara Savaglio, Christopher Woollcott, and all participants for their contributions to this study. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and only represents their views.
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