Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 204, Issue 2, pp 199–206 | Cite as

General motor representations are developed during action-observation

  • Spencer J. Hayes
  • Digby Elliott
  • Simon J. Bennett
Research Article


This study was designed to examine the generality of motor learning by action-observation. During practice, action-observation participants watched a learning model (e.g., physical practice participants) perform a motor sequence-timing task involving mouse/cursor movements on a computer screen; control participants watched a blank screen. Participants transferred to either a congruent (same mouse-cursor gain), or an incongruent (different mouse-cursor gain) condition. As predicted, motor sequence timing was learned through action-observation as well as physical practice. Moreover, transfer of learning to an incongruent set of task demands indicates that the motor representation developed through observation includes generalised visual-motor procedures associated with the use of feedback utilization.


Motor timing Generalised motor learning Transfer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Spencer J. Hayes
    • 1
  • Digby Elliott
    • 1
  • Simon J. Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of ScienceLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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