Assignment: The Cognitive Hypothesis and the Motor Control Hypothesis of Bilateral Transfer

Assignment: The Cognitive Hypothesis and the Motor Control Hypothesis of Bilateral Transfer

Assignment: the cognitive hypothesis and the motor control hypothesis of bilateral transfer

Each Discussion Question need to have at least 150-200 words with at least one citation.

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Discussion Question 1:

1. There are two hypotheses to explain the occurrence of bilateral transfer: the cognitive hypothesis and the motor control hypothesis of bilateral transfer. Argue for which is more plausible. Support your argument with empirical research.

Discussion Question 2:

2. What challenges face researchers as they study motor behavior? Which of these challenges poses the biggest obstacle? How might these challenges influence your dissertation research?

Read chapter 15.



Geok Cheong, J., Lay, B., Grove, J., Medic, N., & Razman, R. (2012). Practicing field hockey skills along the contextual interference continuum: A comparison of five practice schedules. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 11(2), 304-311.


Motor Learning and Control: Concepts and Applications

Transfer of Learning

Multiple Choice

  1. Which of the following do transfer tests in motor learning research not involve?
  2. The practiced skill in a new situation
  3. A novel variation of the practiced skill
  4. A different, although related, skill than was practiced
  5. The practiced skill one day after practice ends

            Answer:  D

  1. The general rule of thumb for predicting positive transfer between two motor skills is that the degree of positive transfer is related to the
  2. number of component parts of the two skills.
  3. amount of practice on each of the two skills.
  4. degree of similarity of the performance contexts of the two skills.
  5. degree of similarity between the parts of the two skills.


  1. The transfer-appropriate-processing theory accounts for why positive transfer occurs by stating that positive transfer is due to the similarity of the
  2. components of two motor skills.
  3. environmental context characteristics of two motor skills.
  4. cognitive processes required by two motor skills.
  5. movements of two motor skills.


  1. Negative transfer can be expected for which of the following situations?
  2. Learning to play volleyball after having learned to play basketball
  3. Learning to throw a javelin after having been a baseball pitcher
  4. Learning to hit a tennis forehand after having learned to play badminton
  5. Learning to play guitar after having learned to play violin


  1. The generally accepted view about the direction of bilateral transfer between two limbs is that it is
  2. symmetric.
  3. asymmetric.
  4. either symmetric or asymmetric, depending on the side dominance of the person.
  5. either symmetric or asymmetric; the direction is equally distributed among the population.


  1. The cognitive explanation for bilateral transfer proposes that bilateral transfer occurs because the required
  2. task components are similar.
  3. cognitive components are similar.
  4. cognitive effort is similar.
  5. attention demands are similar.

            Answer:  B

  1. The motor control explanation for bilateral transfer has been supported by research evidence showing
  2. EEG activity during practice with one limb.
  3. kinematic characteristics are similar for performance of the skill by each limb.
  4. EMG activity in the non-performing limb when the opposite limb performs the skill.
  5. the cognitive processing similarity for performing the skill with each limb.


  1. Bilateral transfer can be related to the concept of the generalized motor program (GMP) because muscle selection in performing a skill is
  2. a parameter of the GMP.
  3. an invariant characteristic of the GMP.
  4. involved in selecting the appropriate GMP.
  5. dependent on having the appropriate GMP selected


Short Answer

  1. Performance of a new experience that is hindered by experience with a previous skill is an example of ________ transfer.

            Answer:  negative

  1. We can historically trace the view that transfer occurs because of the similar characteristics of two skills to Thorndike’s ________ theory.

            Answer:  identical elements

  1. _______ transfer can be expected if two tasks involve many similar stimulus components.

            Answer:  Positive

  1. The  theory states that the primary reason for positive transfer between two motor skills is the similarity of the cognitive processes required by the skills.

            Answer:  transfer-appropriate-processing

  1. An important characteristic of ________ transfer is that the effect is typically temporary.

            Answer:  negative

  1. One characteristic of a skill that typically will lead to negative transfer when it is changed is the ________ structure of a skill.

            Answer:  timing

  1. If an experiment is designed to investigate whether bilateral transfer occurs for the non-preferred arm, both arms are involved in the pretests and posttests, but only the ________ arm performs the skill during the practice trials.

            Answer:  preferred

  1. If the same amount of bilateral transfer occurs from one limb to the other limb, then it is called ________ bilateral transfer.

            Answer:  symmetric

  1. According to the generalized motor program theory of motor control, bilateral transfer can be expected because learning a skill results in the creation of an abstract memory representation for an action in which ________ are a parameter of the program.

            Answer:  muscles

  1. The dynamic pattern theory of motor control explains bilateral transfer by stating that the learning of a skill involves the learning of  dynamics without reference to the limbs involved.

            Answer:  coordination


  1. Transfer of learning tests provide an effective means of assessing the learning of a skill following practice.

            Answer:  True

  1. The use of Gentile’s taxonomy of motor skills in a physical rehabilitation situation provides a good example of how the transfer of learning principle can be implemented in a skill-training situation.


  1. The only reason why positive transfer occurs is that the components of the skills or the contexts in which a skill is performed have a high degree of similarity.


  1. One of the reasons for negative transfer is the initial cognitive confusion that occurs when a person must make a different movement in a familiar environmental context.


  1. The amount of bilateral transfer from the preferred to the non-preferred limb is greater than from the non-preferred to the preferred limb.


  1. When you perform a motor skill with your right arm, activity in the same muscles can be detected in your left arm.


  1. The only hypothesis developed to explain why bilateral transfer occurs proposes that invariant characteristics of the generalized motor program acquired with the practice of one limb are applied to the performance of the skill with the contralateral limb.



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