The effect of haptic guidance and visual feedback on learning a complex tennis task

Marchal Crespo, Laura; van Raai, Mark; Rauter, Georg; Wolf, Peter; Riener, Robert (2013). The effect of haptic guidance and visual feedback on learning a complex tennis task. Experimental brain research, 231(3), pp. 277-291. Springer 10.1007/s00221-013-3690-2

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While haptic guidance can improve ongoing performance of a motor task, several studies have found that it ultimately impairs motor learning. However, some recent studies suggest that the haptic demonstration of optimal timing, rather than movement magnitude, enhances learning in subjects trained with haptic guidance. Timing of an action plays a crucial role in the proper accomplishment of many motor skills, such as hitting a moving object (discrete timing task) or learning a velocity profile (time-critical tracking task). The aim of the present study is to evaluate which feedback conditions—visual or haptic guidance—optimize learning of the discrete and continuous elements of a timing task. The experiment consisted in performing a fast tennis forehand stroke in a virtual environment. A tendon-based parallel robot connected to the end of a racket was used to apply haptic guidance during training. In two different experiments, we evaluated which feedback condition was more adequate for learning: (1) a time-dependent discrete task—learning to start a tennis stroke and (2) a tracking task—learning to follow a velocity profile. The effect that the task difficulty and subject’s initial skill level have on the selection of the optimal training condition was further evaluated. Results showed that the training condition that maximizes learning of the discrete time-dependent motor task depends on the subjects’ initial skill level. Haptic guidance was especially suitable for less-skilled subjects and in especially difficult discrete tasks, while visual feedback seems to benefit more skilled subjects. Additionally, haptic guidance seemed to promote learning in a time-critical tracking task, while visual feedback tended to deteriorate the performance independently of the task difficulty and subjects’ initial skill level. Haptic guidance outperformed visual feedback, although additional studies are needed to further analyze the effect of other types of feedback visualization on motor learning of time-critical tasks.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Marchal Crespo, Laura and Riener, Robert

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0014-4819

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2018 14:10

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 05:14

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00221-013-3690-2

PubMed ID:

24013789

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.117043

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/117043

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