The aim of this study is to produce a novel coordinated rhythmic movement (90˚ mean relative phase) using coordination feedback during post training. This allows the participant to learn a novel task. This should not alter in any way the perceptual information. It is said that people cannot produce 90˚ novel movements stably without training. They can only produce two stable coordination patterns without training, 0˚ and 180˚. So progression and learning has to occur, in this case coordination feedback is used.
10 participants were split into two groups of five. Group 1 (‘Feedback’) received coordination feedback during training; Group 2 (‘No Feedback’) received no feedback but an equal exposure to the task.
There were two assessment sessions (Baseline and Post-training) and five training sessions. Participants viewed a demo of the target relative phase and then performed five trials. In the five training sessions participants performed ten 20 sec trials with a target mean relative phase of 90˚. There was a computer-controlled dot situated above the person-controlled dot. The participants then used a joystick to move the dot at a specific mean relative phase. For the Feedback group feedback was provided by the colour change of the person-controlled dot from white to green when the participant was moving at 90˚, ± an error bandwidth. In the first session the error bandwidth was set to 40˚. Any performance between 50˚ and 130˚ triggered the colour change. The bandwidth was decreased in each session to 30˚, 20˚, 15˚ and 10˚. This will drive learning as the participant improves after each bandwidth. A colour change was used as the coordinated feedback because it is said that colour has no affect on movement stability. The No Feedback group also did 50 trials, but with no feedback.
A repeated measures ANOVA was used. The results found that participants who received coordination feedback successfully and significantly improved their ability to maintain 90˚ coordination. The No Feedback group showed no improvement at any mean relative phase. Coordination feedback does not alter or remove the visual information (relative direction). Unlike visual metronomes and Lissajous figures which do alter the perceptual information.
People do not tend to suddenly acquire 90˚, as they are unable to move at 90˚ long enough to allow the required perceptual learning. The control group in this experiment received extensive practice at 90˚, but no help identifying when they were moving correctly, so failed to learn this coordination.