The Pursuit Rotor: An Apparatus for All Occasions



Much if not most of the work on motor reminiscence has been done on the pursuit rotor, and in fact our account in this book is very much concentrated on this particular apparatus. This choice may seem somewhat paradoxical; is not verbal learning of more interest than motor learning, and is not concentration on one type of apparatus lacking in generality? The obvious answer would be that motor learning results in replicable, clear-cut, and coherent findings which are of obvious interest and relevance to psychology, results which furthermore can be integrated theoretically with findings from many other areas such as conditioning studies. Reminiscence in verbal learning is much less reliable, as we shall see, and, although of course no less worthy of attention for that reason, may be just a little too complex and obscure to form the basis for a proper quantitative treatment. It is possible that the general laws and theories of motor learning may be capable of extension to the more complex field, possible with certain modifications or additions; if so the preference for starting with the simple, rather than with the complex, is probably justified. Even should this hope not be justified, and should reminiscence and other learning phenomena follow quite different laws when verbal rather than motor behavior is at issue, the choice of preferring the simple over the complex would still be justified; it would give us a secure starting point from which to evaluate similarities and differences. Arguments such as these cannot of course prove our choice to have been correct; they are offered rather to make it more acceptable.


Motor Learning Target Zone Card Sorting Control Precision Speed Drill 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of LondonLondonEngland

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