A DEMONSTRATION OF RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE IN PURSUIT ROTOR LEARNING.
IOWA STATE UNIV IOWA CITY
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In an experiment designed to induce reliable amounts of retroactive interference, two groups of college males practiced the Epicyclic Pursuit Rotor task under conditions of well-distributed practice, frequent opportunities to warm-up, medium to high levels of original learning OL and interpolated learning IL, and a short interval between OL and relearning RL. Group X n 20 was given 30 trials of OL on Day 1, 30 trials of IL on Day 2, 3 trials of IL followed by 30 trials of RL on Day 3. Group C n 23 had 30 trials of OL on Day 1 and 30 trials of RL on Day 3. For IL, the pursuit pattern was rotated 180 degrees as compared with the pattern for OL and RL. On the first RL trial Group X was significantly lower than Group C with respect to mean time on target, mean number of contacts and mean time per contact. There were no significant differences on the second RL trial. Although the effect was brief, retroactive interference was reliably demonstrated. The IL practice had no effect on the warm-up decrements present in RL. Author