The contribution of elaborative processing to the contextual interference effect


This study examined the influence of supplemental intertask and intratask processing on the retention of three motor sequences practiced in conditions of high and low contextual interference. Subjects practiced in either a blocked or random practice format and experienced additional intratask processing intertask processing or no additional processing. Each of three movement sequences were practiced for 18 trials. The subjects were required to perform the sequences as fast and as accurately as possible. Retention performance and recall of the movement sequences were assessed after a 21-day retention interval The results replicated those of Wright (1991), indicating a benefit for individuals engaging intertask processing during a low contextual interference practice condition. Furthermore, supplementing random practice with additional intertask processing not only slowed the rale of task acquisition, but also resulted in retention performance that was significantly poorer than that exhibited by individuals exposed to random practice with no additional processing. This suggests there may be a limit to the extent of interference that can be established during practice that will lead to a facilitation in retention performance. © 1992 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport