The Short-Term Effects of Real-Time Virtual Reality Feedback on Motor Learning in Dance

Daniel L. Eaves, Gavin Breslin, Paul Van Schaik, Emma Robinson, Iain R. Spears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Does virtual reality (VR) represent a useful platform for teaching real-world motorskills? In domains such as sport and dance, this question has not yet been fully explored.The aim of this study was to determine the effects of two variations of real-time VRfeedback on the learning of a complex dance movement. Novice participants (n ¼ 30)attempted to learn the action by both observing a video of an expert’s movementdemonstration and physically practicing under one of three conditions. These conditionswere: full feedback (FULL-FB), which presented learners with real-time VR feedbackon the difference between 12 of their joint center locations and the expert’smovement during learning; reduced feedback (REDUCED-FB), which provided feedbackon only four distal joint center locations (end-effectors); and no feedback (NOFB),which presented no real-time VR feedback during learning. Participants’ kinematicdata were gathered before, immediately after, and 24 hr after a motor learning session.Movement error was calculated as the difference in the range of movement at specificjoints between each learner’s movement and the expert’s demonstrated movement.Principal component analysis was also used to examine dimensional change acrosstime. The results showed that the REDUCED-FB condition provided an advantage inmotor learning over the other conditions: it achieved a significantly greater reductionin error across five separate error measures. These findings indicate that VR can beused to provide a useful platform for teaching real-world motor skills, and that thismay be achieved by its ability to direct the learner’s attention to the key anatomicalfeatures of a to-be-learned action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-77
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2011


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