Attentional focus and motor learning: a review of 15 years

@article{Wulf2013AttentionalFA,
  title={Attentional focus and motor learning: a review of 15 years},
  author={G. Wulf},
  journal={International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology},
  year={2013},
  volume={6},
  pages={104 - 77}
}
  • G. Wulf
  • Published 2013
  • Psychology
  • International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Over the past 15 years, research on focus of attention has consistently demonstrated that an external focus (i.e., on the movement effect) enhances motor performance and learning relative to an internal focus (i.e., on body movements). This article provides a comprehensive review of the extant literature. Findings show that the performance and learning advantages through instructions or feedback inducing an external focus extend across different types of tasks, skill levels, and age groups… Expand
The effects of external and internal focus of attention on motor learning and promoting learner’s focus
Summary Study aim: External focus of attention is considered as a critical factor in the OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. This theory proposes that external focus of attention facilitates motorExpand
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It is well established that focusing on the external effect of one’s movement (an external focus of attention) results in enhanced motor learning and produces superior motor performance compared toExpand
Motor learning and movement automatization in typically developing children: The role of instructions with an external or internal focus of attention.
TLDR
This is the first study to show that the beneficial effects of an external focus of attention on discrete motor tasks found in previous studies with a child population seem to be short lived and decline after a one-week interval. Expand
The influence of attentional focus on the development of skill representation in a complex action
Objectives: Recent research has indicated that performers’ mental representation of a motor skill changes over the course of learning. In the present study, we sought to ascertain whether the type ofExpand
Equal workload demands may hinder the ability of focus of attention to impact motor learning
Two bodies of literature have addressed the question of how attentional focus relates to learning and performance of a motor task. The literature on direction of attention has found that focusing onExpand
Effects of attentional focus on movement coordination complexity.
TLDR
Results indicate the need to identify the correct physiological interpretation of single or multiscale entropy measures and further investigation is needed to establish if entropy differences are causally related to performance and learning advantages of the external focus. Expand
The role of attention in motor control.
TLDR
External FOA led to more accurate performance and increased variability in the motion of the throwing arm, concomitant with stronger correlations among bodily dimensions in a manner consistent with the task kinematics, suggesting an important role of attention as a control parameter in the regulation of the motor system. Expand
Additive Effects of an External Focus and Enhanced Expectancy in Learning a Motor Skill
ii THE GRADUATE COLLEGE We recommend the thesis prepared under our supervision by An external focus of attention in has been shown to produce better performance in practice and retention of a motorExpand
The Influence of Attentional Focus Instructions and Vision on Jump Height Performance
TLDR
The present findings demonstrate the benefit of an ExF on a body projection task and further provide evidence of the independence of ExF and visual information. Expand
Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning
TLDR
The OPTIMAL (Optimizing Performance through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning) theory of motor learning is proposed, suggesting that motivational and attentional factors contribute to performance and learning by strengthening the coupling of goals to actions. Expand
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References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 143 REFERENCES
ATTENTIONAL FOCUS AND MOTOR LEARNING: A REVIEW OF 10 YEARS OF RESEARCH
Studies examining the influence of an individual’s focus of attention on motor performance and learning are reviewed. Those studies, conducted over the past decade or so, provide converging evidenceExpand
Effects of attentional-focus instructions on movement kinematics
Abstract Background Recent research has shown that internal (body-related) attention-focus instructions disrupt motor learning and performance, whereas paying attention to the environmental effectsExpand
Directing attention to movement effects enhances learning: A review
TLDR
Preliminary evidence is presented indicating that an internal attentional focus constrains the motor system by interfering with natural control processes, whereas an external focus seems to allow automatic control processes to regulate the movements. Expand
An external focus of attention enhances balance learning in older adults.
TLDR
The results demonstrate that the learning benefits of an external attentional focus are generalizable to older learners. Expand
Focus of attention and its impact on movement behaviour.
TLDR
Differential effects of either internal or external focus of instructions are examined and some deficiencies in extant theory and research design on focus of attention which require further investigations are highlighted. Expand
Neural Correlates of Attentional Focusing during Finger Movements: A fMRI Study
TLDR
The authors conclude that external participants focused on the task-related environment (i.e., the keys) to enhance tactile input to somatosensory areas that closely connect to motor areas. Expand
EXTERNAL FOCUS OF ATTENTION ENHANCES DISCUS THROWING PERFORMANCE
A performer’s focus of attention has been shown to influence motor performance and learning in a variety of motor skills. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of an externalExpand
Internal versus external: oral-motor performance as a function of attentional focus.
TLDR
This study tested the hypothesis that the effects of attentional focus on limb performance would also occur in the oral-facial system and revealed a significant advantage of an external focus for both the hand and tongue control tasks, as opposed to an internal focus of attention. Expand
Attentional Focus Effects in Balance Acrobats
  • G. Wulf
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Research quarterly for exercise and sport
  • 2008
TLDR
The finding implies that there may be a limit to the performance-enhancing effects of external focus instructions for top-level performers, and possible changes in the optimal attentional focus with the performer's level of expertise are discussed. Expand
Effects of Attentional Focus on Skilled Performance in Golf
Wulf and colleagues (e.g., Wulf, Lauterbach, & Toole, 1999) have demonstrated that the adoption of an external focus of attention is preferable for the learning of complex motor tasks. The presentExpand
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