ResearchPad - human-learning https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Adaptation to unstable coordination patterns in individual and joint actions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7665 Previous research on interlimb coordination has shown that some coordination patterns are more stable than others, and function as attractors in the space of possible phase relations between different rhythmic movements. The canonical coordination patterns, i.e. the two most stable phase relations, are in-phase (0 degree) and anti-phase (180 degrees). Yet, musicians are able to perform other coordination patterns in intrapersonal as well as in interpersonal coordination with remarkable precision. This raises the question of how music experts manage to produce these unstable patterns of movement coordination. In the current study, we invited participants with at least five years of training on a musical instrument. We used an adaptation paradigm to address two factors that may facilitate producing unstable coordination patterns. First, we investigated adaptation in different coordination settings, to test the hypothesis that the lower coupling strength between individuals during joint performance makes it easier to achieve stability outside of the canonical patterns than the stronger coupling during individual bimanual performance. Second, we investigated whether adding to the structure of action effects may support achieving unstable coordination patterns, both intra- and inter-individually. The structure of action effects was strengthened by adding a melodic contour to the action effects, a measure that has been shown to improve the acquisition of bimanual coordination skills. Adaptation performance was measured both in terms of asynchrony and variability thereof. As predicted, we found that producing unstable patterns benefitted from the weaker coupling during joint performance. Surprisingly, the structure of action effects did not help with achieving unstable coordination patterns.

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<![CDATA[Readiness to prescribe: Using educational design to untie the Gordian Knot]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd54ed6a5-cf2b-4df7-b723-1be3eaed6fb5

Introduction

Junior residents routinely prescribe medications for hospitalised patients with only arms-length supervision, which compromises patient safety. A cardinal example is insulin prescribing, which is commonplace, routinely delegated to very junior doctors, difficult, potentially very dangerous, and getting no better. Our aim was to operationalise the concept of ‘readiness to prescribe’ by validating an instrument to quality-improve residents’ workplace prescribing education.

Methods

Guided by theories of behaviour change, implementation, and error, and by empirical evidence, we developed and refined a mixed-methods 24-item evaluation instrument, and analysed numerical responses from Foundation Trainees (junior residents) in Northern Ireland, UK using principal axis factoring, and conducted a framework analysis of participants’ free-text responses.

Results

255 trainees participated, 54% women and 46% men, 80% of whom were in the second foundation year. The analysis converged on a 4-factor solution explaining 57% of the variance. Participants rated their capability to prescribe higher (79%) than their capability to learn to prescribe (69%; p<0.001) and rated the support to their prescribing education lower still (43%; p<0.001). The findings were similar in men and women, first and second year trainees, and in different hospitals. Free text responses described an unreflective type of learning from experience in which participants tended to 'get by' when faced with complex problems.

Discussion

Operationalising readiness to prescribe as a duality, comprising residents’ capability and the fitness of their educational environments, demonstrated room for improvement in both. We offer the instrument to help clinical educators improve the two in tandem.

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<![CDATA[Student engagement, assessed using heart rate, shows no reset following active learning sessions in lectures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf5514316-08af-4907-81a8-d6c8d0a0ef3a

Heart rate can be used as a measure of cognitive engagement. We measured average student heart rates during medical school lecture classes using wristwatch-style monitors. Analysis of 42 classes showed a steady decline in heart rate from the beginning to end of a lecture class. Active learning sessions (peer-discussion based problem solving) resulted in a significant uptick in heart rate, but this returned to the average level immediately following the active learning period. This is the first statistically robust assessment of changes in heart rate during the course of college lecture classes and indicates that personal heart rate monitors may be useful tools for assessment of different teaching modalities. The key findings suggest that the value of active learning within the classroom resides in the activity itself and not in an increase in engagement or reset in attention during the didactic period following an active learning session.

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<![CDATA[Do open educational resources improve student learning? Implications of the access hypothesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776cd5eed0c4847d2c7e

Open Educational Resources (OER) have been lauded for their ability to reduce student costs and improve equity in higher education. Research examining whether OER provides learning benefits have produced mixed results, with most studies showing null effects. We argue that the common methods used to examine OER efficacy are unlikely to detect positive effects based on predictions of the access hypothesis. The access hypothesis states that OER benefits learning by providing access to critical course materials, and therefore predicts that OER should only benefit students who would not otherwise have access to the materials. Through the use of simulation analysis, we demonstrate that even if there is a learning benefit of OER, standard research methods are unlikely to detect it.

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<![CDATA[Microlearning for patient safety: Crew resource management training in 15-minutes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accebd5eed0c4849902fc

Objectives

We sought to establish the feasibility of chunking crew resource management (CRM) training into micro-size interventions and to compare different training approaches in the context of micro-learning.

Design

We evaluated whether participants in micro-learning CRM activities achieved learning objectives following training. In a between-subjects design, groups were observed for behaviour during a simulation that was part of a 15-minute modular intervention and tested for recollection afterwards.

Participants

The 129 participants recruited for this study were medical students, who already had relevant experience treating patients.

Interventions

The experimental setting involved three 5-minute components: video, simulation, and debriefing. Different groups viewed videos involving different didactic concepts: one group observed a videotaped concrete example of a medical care team applying a CRM tool (example group), and one group observed a videotaped lecture on the same topic (lecture group).

Main outcome measures

All simulations were videotaped and coded in detail for the occurrence of and time spent engaging in team behaviour and medical care. Questionnaires were administered before, immediately after, and two weeks after the intervention. We compared the groups’ behaviour during the simulation (team cooperation and medical care), retention of knowledge from the training content, and results of the evaluation.

Results

Both groups exhibited most of the behaviours included in the content of the instructional videos during the simulations and recollected information 2 weeks later. The example group exhibited significantly more of the training content during the simulation and demonstrated better retention 2 weeks later. Although the example group spent more time on team coordination, there was no difference in the number of executed medical measures.

Conclusion

Delivering CRM training in chunks of relatively short and highly standardised interventions appears feasible. In this study, the form of didactical presentation caused a difference in learning success between groups: a traditional lecture was outperformed by an instructional video demonstrating a practical example.

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<![CDATA[Faithfulness-boost effect: Loyal teammate selection correlates with skill acquisition improvement in online games]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823a7d5eed0c484638d67

The problem of skill acquisition is ubiquitous and fundamental to life. Most tasks in modern society involve the cooperation with other subjects. Notwithstanding its fundamental importance, teammate selection is commonly overlooked when studying learning. We exploit the virtually infinite repository of human behavior available in Internet to study a relevant topic in anthropological science: how grouping strategies may affect learning. We analyze the impact of team play strategies in skill acquisition using a turn-based game where players can participate individually or in teams. We unveil a subtle but strong effect in skill acquisition based on the way teams are formed and maintained during time. “Faithfulness-boost effect” provides a skill boost during the first games that would only be acquired after thousands of games. The tendency to play games in teams is associated with a long-run skill improvement while playing loyally with the same teammate significantly accelerates short-run skill acquisition.

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<![CDATA[On the networking synthesis of studio factors to the integration of design pedagogy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89771dd5eed0c4847d2496

Studio is critically important for design education, but few attempts have been made to demonstrate the parallels between studio factors and design performance. This paper adopts a coherent set of analyses to investigate the major studio factors and attempts to quantify the networking interactions among them. First, it describes how architectural studio is usually organised based on some major factors. Next, a theoretical model is established according to the described hypotheses and their mutual interactions. Third, the research method and statistical analysis with structural equation modelling (SEM) are presented. Finally, the results of this empirical examination are presented for discussion and suggestions. Our findings reveal that studio tutorials have no significant effect on undergraduate's design performance. In contrast, students’ subjective intention plays a more important role in shaping their behaviour, indicating the importance of transferring those exterior forces into internal benefits when the studio instructor attempts to optimise the pedagogy. These findings are also inspiring for all creative disciplines.

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<![CDATA[Base-rate expectations modulate the causal illusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c7d5eed0c484638fca

Previous research revealed that people’s judgments of causality between a target cause and an outcome in null contingency settings can be biased by various factors, leading to causal illusions (i.e., incorrectly reporting a causal relationship where there is none). In two experiments, we examined whether this causal illusion is sensitive to prior expectations about base-rates. Thus, we pretrained participants to expect either a high outcome base-rate (Experiment 1) or a low outcome base-rate (Experiment 2). This pretraining was followed by a standard contingency task in which the target cause and the outcome were not contingent with each other (i.e., there was no causal relation between them). Subsequent causal judgments were affected by the pretraining: When the outcome base-rate was expected to be high, the causal illusion was reduced, and the opposite was observed when the outcome base-rate was expected to be low. The results are discussed in the light of several explanatory accounts (associative and computational). A rational account of contingency learning based on the evidential value of information can predict our findings.

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<![CDATA[Prenatal maternal docosahexaenoic acid intake and infant information processing at 4.5mo and 9mo: A longitudinal study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9ffd5eed0c48452a684

Previous research suggesting an association between maternal prenatal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake and infant cognition has yet to assess whether there is a critical trimester for the observed effects. We used a comprehensive Food Frequency Questionnaire to estimate DHA levels during both the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, in a sample of 125 pregnant women. Infants were assessed at 4.5 months and 9 months post-partum using specific tests of visual acuity, habituation, and visual attention. Based on maternal DHA levels during pregnancy, mothers were subdivided into high, medium, and low groups, and their infants compared for task performance using one-way ANOVAs with maternal DHA groups. On the 9 month visual acuity test, infants whose mothers were in the medium DHA group performed significantly better than those with mothers in the low or high DHA groups (p = 0.008). However, no significant finding was found for any of the other cognitive assessment measures. Despite a number of studies reporting a positive effect of higher DHA levels on cognitive development, this study fails to support those conclusions. We can, however, conclude that it appears to be DHA intake in the third trimester specifically, which is influencing the development of visual acuity towards the end of the first postnatal year.

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<![CDATA[Predicting change: Approximate inference under explicit representation of temporal structure in changing environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca27ed5eed0c48441e4cc

In our daily lives timing of our actions plays an essential role when we navigate the complex everyday environment. It is an open question though how the representations of the temporal structure of the world influence our behavior. Here we propose a probabilistic model with an explicit representation of state durations which may provide novel insights in how the brain predicts upcoming changes. We illustrate several properties of the behavioral model using a standard reversal learning design and compare its task performance to standard reinforcement learning models. Furthermore, using experimental data, we demonstrate how the model can be applied to identify participants’ beliefs about the latent temporal task structure. We found that roughly one quarter of participants seem to have learned the latent temporal structure and used it to anticipate changes, whereas the remaining participants’ behavior did not show signs of anticipatory responses, suggesting a lack of precise temporal expectations. We expect that the introduced behavioral model will allow, in future studies, for a systematic investigation of how participants learn the underlying temporal structure of task environments and how these representations shape behavior.

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<![CDATA[The prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and alcohol use, other drug use, and risky sexual behaviours among grade 8-10 learners in Western Cape, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca34d5eed0c48452a8c1

Background

Alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and risky sexual behaviours remain high among adolescents in South Africa and globally. Religiosity influences, mitigates and provides resilience against engaging in risky behaviours among young people but few South African studies have explored potential associations between religiosity, AOD use and risky sex. We report the prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Methods

Between May and August 2011, a cross sectional survey was conducted among 20 227 learners from 240 public schools randomly selected through a stratified multistage sampling design to determine the prevalence of AOD use and sexual risk behaviours. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to assess the association between religiosity, AOD use and risky sexual behaviours.

Results

The learners were aged 10–23 years. Almost three quarters (74%) of learners reported high religiosity (defined as attending religious services or activities at least 1–2 times a month). More female than male learners had high religiosity. The prevalence of past 30 day reported alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use was 23%, 19% and 8% respectively. Compared to learners with low religiosity, those with high religiosity were less likely to engage in AOD use: specifically alcohol use, (AOR = 0.86, 95%CI: 0.76–0.97), tobacco use (AOR = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.67–0.87), cannabis use (AOR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.48–0.68) in the last 30 days. They were also less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours (AOR = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.81–0.99).

Conclusion

Religiosity was associated with lower odds of reported AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape. This calls for further exploration on how to incorporate religiosity into AOD use and risky sexual behaviour interventions.

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<![CDATA[Bioinformatics calls the school: Use of smartphones to introduce Python for bioinformatics in high schools]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1486d5eed0c48467a231

The dynamic nature of technological developments invites us to rethink the learning spaces. In this context, science education can be enriched by the contribution of new computational resources, making the educational process more up-to-date, challenging, and attractive. Bioinformatics is a key interdisciplinary field, contributing to the understanding of biological processes that is often underrated in secondary schools. As a useful resource in learning activities, bioinformatics could help in engaging students to integrate multiple fields of knowledge (logical-mathematical, biological, computational, etc.) and generate an enriched and long-lasting learning environment. Here, we report our recent project in which high school students learned basic concepts of programming applied to solving biological problems. The students were taught the Python syntax, and they coded simple tools to answer biological questions using resources at hand. Notably, these were built mostly on the students’ own smartphones, which proved to be capable, readily available, and relevant complementary tools for teaching. This project resulted in an empowering and inclusive experience that challenged differences in social background and technological accessibility.

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<![CDATA[Visual habituation in deaf and hearing infants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d4bd5eed0c484c824a4

Early cognitive development relies on the sensory experiences that infants acquire as they explore their environment. Atypical experience in one sensory modality from birth may result in fundamental differences in general cognitive abilities. The primary aim of the current study was to compare visual habituation in infants with profound hearing loss, prior to receiving cochlear implants (CIs), and age-matched peers with typical hearing. Two complementary measures of cognitive function and attention maintenance were assessed: the length of time to habituate to a visual stimulus, and look-away rate during habituation. Findings revealed that deaf infants were slower to habituate to a visual stimulus and demonstrated a lower look-away rate than hearing infants. For deaf infants, habituation measures correlated with language outcomes on standardized assessments before cochlear implantation. These findings are consistent with prior evidence suggesting that habituation and look-away rates reflect efficiency of information processing and may suggest that deaf infants take longer to process visual stimuli relative to the hearing infants. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that hearing loss early in infancy influences aspects of general cognitive functioning.

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<![CDATA[Development of a psycho-social intervention for reducing psychological distress among parents of children with intellectual disabilities in Malawi]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b2636d5eed0c4842895a3

Background

The burden of intellectual disabilities in low and middle income countries (LMIC) is high and is associated with parental psychological distress. There are few services for children and parents in most developing countries and few interventions have been created that target the psychological issues among parents of such children. This study aimed to develop a contextualized intervention to provide psychological support for parents of children with intellectual disabilities in an African setting.

Methods

Six steps were adopted from the Medical Research Council framework for designing complex interventions. This include: literature review of similar interventions and models, qualitative studies to gain insights of lived experiences of parents of such children, a consensus process with an expert panel of professionals working with children with disabilities and piloting and pre-testing the draft intervention for its acceptability and practicability in this settings.

Results

21 intervention modules were found from a systematic search of the literature which were listed for possible use in our intervention along with four themes from our qualitative studies. An expert panel formed consensus on the eight most pertinent and relevant modules for our setting. This formed the intervention; “Titukulane.” This intervention was piloted and found to have high acceptability and practicability when contextualized in the field.

Conclusion

The use of a systematic framework for designing a complex intervention for supporting the mental health of parents of children with disabilities enables good acceptability and practicability for future use in low resource settings.

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<![CDATA[Discourses mapped by Q-method show governance constraints motivate landscape approaches in Indonesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2f1d5eed0c48441ee11

Interpreting discourses among implementers of what is termed a “landscape approach” enables us to learn from their experience to improve conservation and development outcomes. We use Q-methodology to explore the perspectives of a group of experts in the landscape approach, both from academic and implementation fields, on what hinderances are in place to the realisation of achieving sustainable landscape management in Indonesia. The results show that, at a generic level, “corruption” and “lack of transparency and accountability” rank as the greatest constraints on landscape functionality. Biophysical factors, such as topography and climate change, rank as the least constraining factors. When participants considered a landscape with which they were most familiar, the results changed: the rapid change of regulations, limited local human capacity and inaccessible data on economic risks increased, while the inadequacy of democratic institutions, “overlapping laws” and “corruption” decreased. The difference indicates some fine-tuning of generic perceptions to the local context and may also reflect different views on what is achievable for landscape approach practitioners. Overall, approximately 55% of variance is accounted for by five discourse factors for each trial. Four overlapped and two discourses were discrete enough to merit different discourse labels. We labelled the discourses (1) social exclusionists, (2) state view, (3) community view, (4) integrationists, (5) democrats, and (6) neoliberals. Each discourse contains elements actionable at the landscape scale, as well as exogenous issues that originate at national and global scales. Actionable elements that could contribute to improving governance included trust building, clarified resource rights and responsibilities, and inclusive representation in management. The landscape sustainability discourses studied here suggests that landscape approach “learners” must focus on ways to remedy poor governance if they are to achieve sustainability and multi-functionality.

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<![CDATA[An interventional study for improving the manual dexterity of dentistry students]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df320d5eed0c484580d5f

Objectives

Traditionally, the acquisition of manual skills in most dental schools worldwide is based on exercises on plastic teeth placed in a "phantom head simulator". No manual trainings are done at home. Studies revealed that preliminary training of one motoric task leads to significant improvement in performance of the required motoric task that has similar components. Performing tasks indirectly via a dental mirror are complicated for the young dental students. We hypothesized that instructed training of basic skills required in dentistry at home on a tool simulating the phantom laboratory will improve the capabilities of the students and will be reflected by their clinical grades.

Methods

We developed a portable tool PhantHome which is composed of jaws, gingival tissue, rubber cover and a compatible stand. Specific teeth produced by a 3D printer with drills in different directions were placed in both jaws. Students were requested to insert pins by using tweezers and dental mirror according to instructions initiating with easy tasks and continue to ones that are more complicated. 106 first clinical year dental students participated in the study; 65 trained only in the traditional phantom lab (control). 41 trained at home by the PhantHome tool two weeks before and 2 months during the initial stage of phantom lab. The students grades routinely provided in the phantom laboratory at different stages were compared.

Results

Students who trained with the portable tool performed better than the control group in the first direct and second indirect preparations (p<0.05). These exams were taken when the PhantHome was available to the students. Then, the tool was returned and the phantom course continued regularly. We believe that this is why no differences between the grades of the groups were observed further on.

Conclusions

Training by the PhantHome improves motor skills and consequently the clinical performances.

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<![CDATA[Perceived impact of community kitchens on the food security of Syrian refugees and kitchen workers in Lebanon: Qualitative evidence in a displacement context]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e670d5eed0c484ef31b2

Community kitchens (CKs) have been recommended as public health strategies with social and nutritional health benefits for low-income participants and their families in different settings. The benefit of CKs in improving the food security status of participants in the context of conflict and displacement is less conclusive. This study aimed to qualitatively explore the impact of CKs on the food security status of community kitchen workers (CWs) and Syrian refugee (SR) families in Lebanon. An exploratory qualitative descriptive approach was adopted. Focus group discussions were conducted with 15 CWs and 49 SRs, and transcripts were analyzed thematically. Emerging themes included: motivation to join the CKs (CWs only), perception towards CKs, impact of these CKs, and their sustainability (both groups). Motivating factors for CWs included financial, internal and societal drivers, and the favorable type of work in kitchens. The perception towards CKs was overall positive among CWs and SR beneficiaries. Both groups reported the positive impact of CKs on their food security and financial status, which in turn affected positively their psychological health. At the social level, CWs indicated that the kitchen’s friendly atmosphere increased social cohesion and companionship between Syrians and Lebanese within the kitchen. In addition, CWs reported increased sense of empathy towards SRs benefiting from the CK services. According to study participants, the positive impact of the CKs was almost completely reversed when their operation and services were interrupted for two months. Both CWs and SRs identified facilitators and barriers that can affect the sustainability of the kitchens, including financial and entrepreneurial skills. In conclusion, findings from this study highlight that CKs can be promising programs to improve the food security and livelihoods of participants, while also increasing social cohesion and integration of refugees within host communities in protracted crisis contexts.

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<![CDATA[Can self-referential information improve directed forgetting? Evidence from a multinomial processing tree model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d645d5eed0c484031a4c

A large body of research has shown that self-referential processing can enhance an individual’s memory of information. However, there are many arguments about how self-referential processing affects directed forgetting (DF). In this study, two experiments were designed to investigate the DF effect and its internal psychological mechanism under explicit and implicit referential conditions using the item-method DF paradigm combined with the storage-retrieval MPT model. We compare the difference in the DF effect between self-referential and other-referential conditions and explain the reasons for the difference. Our results suggest that the item-method DF effect is the result of a selective rehearsal mechanism and a retrieval inhibition mechanism working together. Both self-reference and other-reference can cause DF in explicit referential processing or implicit referential processing, although the DF effect is stronger under the self-referential condition. Furthermore, the memory advantage effect of implicit self-referential processing is stronger than that of explicit self-referential processing.

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<![CDATA[Ten simple rules for writing statistical book reviews]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536c2bd5eed0c484a49b27

Statistical books can provide deep insights into statistics and software. There are, however, many resources available to the practitioner. Book reviews have the capacity to function as a critical mechanism for the learner to assess the merits of engaging in part, in full, or at all with a book. The “ten simple rules” format, pioneered in computational biology, was applied here to writing effective book reviews for statistics because of the wide breadth of offerings in this domain, including topical introductions, computational solutions, and theory. Learning by doing is a popular paradigm in statistics and computation, but there is still a niche for books in the pedagogy of self-taught and instruction-based learning. Primarily, these rules ensure that book reviews function as a form of short syntheses to inform and guide readers in deciding to use a specific book relative to other options for resolving statistical challenges.

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<![CDATA[The role of the practice order: A systematic review about contextual interference in children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c43fd5eed0c4845e837f

Aim

We aimed to identify and evaluate the quality and evidence of the motor learning literature about intervention studies regarding the contextual interference (CI) effect (blocked vs. random practice order) in children with brain lesions and typically developing (TD) children.

Method

Eight databases (Cinahl, Cochrane, Embase, PubMed, Pedro, PsycINFO, Scopus and Web of Knowledge) were searched systematically with predefined search terms. Controlled studies examining the CI effect in children (with brain lesions or TD) were included. Evidence level, conduct quality, and risk of bias were evaluated by two authors independently. A best evidence synthesis was performed.

Results

Twenty-five papers evaluating TD children were included. One of these studies also assessed children with cerebral palsy. Evidence levels were I, II, or III. Conduct quality was low and the risk of bias high, due to methodological issues in the study designs or poor description thereof. Best evidence synthesis showed mainly no or conflicting evidence. Single tasks showed limited to moderate evidence supporting the CI effect in TD children.

Conclusion

There is a severe limitation of good-quality evidence about the CI effect in children who practice different tasks in one session, especially in children with brain lesions.

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