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Motor Control and Learning-5th Edition

Motor Control and Learning-5th Edition


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    Significantly updated with current research, new learning features, and more references, the fifth edition of Motor Control and Learning: A Behavioral Emphasis expertly combines text, figures, and practical examples to explain this complex topic in a clear and comprehensive manner. This outstanding introduction to the field focuses on motor behavior that can be observed directly as well as the many factors that affect the quality of these performances and the ease with which they can be learned. Additionally, the text examines some of the neurological and biomechanical processes that create complex movement behaviors, reflecting the convergence toward a shared understanding of complex movement behaviors across the fields of motor behavior and motor learning, motor control, and biomechanics.

    Motor Control and Learning, Fifth Edition, frames the important issues, theories, people, and research from the field in a reader-friendly way, giving students a clear introduction to the most current information available. Schmidt and Lee, respected researchers and authors, continue to refresh this classic and comprehensive text through the following features:

    • More than 280 new references and approximately 50 pages of new content
    • Expanded information on attention, human motor performance, and the learning process
    • New research highlight boxes, which present issues relevant to the chapter's topic in a reader-friendly way
    • Historical highlight boxes that present the historical connection to certain concepts and principles of motor behavior
    • New end-of-chapter study tools, including a summary, student assignments, Web resources, and notes to help students grasp important concepts, prepare for exams, and explore online activities
    • A new image bank for professors that provides access to most of the images in the text for use in handouts and PowerPoint presentations

    Authors Schmidt and Lee expertly present the complex topic of motor control and learning in a precise manner that students can easily understand. New and updated diagrams offer visual explanations, and practical examples illustrate concepts in motor control and learning and provide concrete suggestions for application. In addition, sidebars throughout the text provide more detailed treatment of specific research to ensure comprehension. The fifth edition features a logical progression wherein later chapters build on concepts presented in earlier chapters, resulting in a consistent framework of ideas about motor skills.

    Motor Control and Learning, Fifth Edition, begins with an introduction to research and fundamental concepts important to understanding motor behavior. In the second part of the text, readers will learn about motor control, including contributions from the sensory and central nervous systems; principles related to speed and accuracy; factors involved in movement control and coordination; and factors that determine skill differences between people and among groups of people. The final portion of the text covers skill acquisition, examining special methodological problems for studying motor learning, various theoretical treatments of motor learning, and factors associated with the retention and transfer of skills.

    Motor Control and Learning, Fifth Edition, presents an up-to-date review of the state of knowledge in movement control and learning, including the most recent information from several rapidly developing subfields. This edition of the text offers both practitioners and students a perspective of motor skills that serves as a basis for contributions to new and existing applications and the facilitation of new research.


    A text for graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses in motor control and learning. Also a reference for academic libraries and professionals working in human movement fields.

    Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction to Motor Behavior

    Chapter 1. Evolution of a Field of Study
    Understanding Movement
    Origins of the Field

    Chapter 2. Methodology for Studying
    Motor Performance
    Classification of Motor Skills
    Basic Considerations in Measurement
    Measuring Motor Behavior
    Measuring and Evaluating Relationships

    Chapter 3. Human Information Processing
    The Information-Processing Model
    Three Stages of Information Processing
    Signal Detection Theory

    Chapter 4. Attention and Performance
    Types of Attention
    Theories of Attention
    Attention and Patterns of Interference Among Tasks
    Attention and Interference During Movement
    Cell Phones, Attention, and Driving
    Directed Attention in Action
    Attention, Arousal, and Anxiety

    Part II. Motor Control

    Chapter 5. Sensory Contributions to Motor Control
    Closed-Loop Control Systems
    Proprioception and Motor Control
    Feedforward Influences on Motor Control

    Chapter 6. Central Contributions to Motor Control
    Open-Loop Processes
    Central Control Mechanisms
    Central Control of Rapid Movements
    Motor Program Issues
    Generalized Motor Programs

    Chapter 7. Principles of Speed and Accuracy
    Fitts’ Law: The Logarithmic Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off
    The Linear Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off
    The Temporal Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off
    Central Contributions to the Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off
    Correction Models of the Speed–Accuracy Trade-Off

    Chapter 8. Coordination
    Discrete Tasks
    Continuous Tasks

    Chapter 9. Individual Differences and Capabilities
    Experimental Versus Differential Approaches

    Part III. Motor Learning

    Chapter 10. Motor Learning Concepts and Research Methods
    Motor Learning Defined
    Measuring Motor Learning
    Designing Experiments on Learning
    Alternative Methods for Measuring Learning
    Issues About the “Amount” of Learning
    Understanding Learning and Performance Variables

    Chapter 11. Conditions of Practice
    The Power Law of Practice
    Prepractice Considerations
    Distribution of Practice
    Variability of Practice
    Scheduling Practice With Several Different Tasks
    Mental Practice
    Part Versus Whole Practice
    Principles of Practice Specificity

    Chapter 12. Augmented Feedback
    Classifications and Definitions
    Research on Augmented Feedback
    Evaluating the Effects of Augmented Feedback
    Knowledge of Performance
    Knowledge of Results
    Theoretical Issues: How Does Augmented Feedback “Work”?

    Chapter 13. The Learning Process
    Characteristics of the Learning Process
    Two Theories of Motor Learning
    Differing Theoretical Perspectives of Motor Learning

    Chapter 14. Retention and Transfer
    Fundamental Distinctions and Definitions
    Measuring Retention and Transfer
    Retention and Motor Memory
    Retention Loss
    Transfer of Learning

    Author index
    Subject index
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Richard A. Schmidt, PhD, is professor emeritus in the department of psychology at UCLA. He currently runs his own consulting firm, Human Performance Research, working in the area of human factors and human performance. Known as one of the leaders in research on motor behavior, Dr. Schmidt has more than 35 years' experience in this area and has published widely.

    The originator of schema theory, Dr. Schmidt founded the Journal of Motor Behavior in 1969 and was editor for 11 years. He authored the first edition of Motor Control and Learning in 1982, followed up with a second edition of the popular text in 1988, and collaborated with Tim Lee for the third edition in 1999 and fourth edition in 2005.

    Dr. Schmidt received an honorary doctorate from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in recognition of his work. Schmidt is a member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (of which he was president in 1982), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the Psychonomic Society. Dr. Schmidt has received the C.H. McCloy Research Lectureship from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

    His leisure-time activities include sailboat racing, amateur Porsche racing, and skiing.

    Timothy D. Lee, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has published extensively in motor behavior and psychology journals since 1979. More recently, he has contributed as an editor to Journal of Motor Behavior and Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and as an editorial board member for Psychological Review. Since 1984 his research has been supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

    Dr. Lee is a member and past president of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS) and a member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA), the Psychonomic Society, and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. In 1980 Dr. Lee received the inaugural Young Scientist Award from SCAPPS; in 1991-92 he received a Senior Research Fellowship by the Dienst Onderzoekscoordinatie, Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium; and in 2005 he presented a prestigious Senior Scientist Lecture at NASPSPA.

    In his leisure time, Dr. Lee enjoys playing hockey and golf. He has maintained a lifelong fascination with blues music and would one day love to put years of motor learning study into practice by learning to play blues guitar.


    All ancillary materials are FREE to course adopters and available online at

    Image bank. The image bank includes over 200 figures, content photos, and tables from the text, sorted by chapter. The images can be used in developing a customized presentation based on specific course requirements.