Contextual dependencies in motor skills. Academic Article uri icon


  • The development of contextual dependencies during motor skill acquisition was examined. Environmental context was varied along intentional and incidental dimensions. Intentional stimuli were defined as essential for achieving skilled performance, whereas incidental stimuli were defined as those that have the potential to become associated with specific tasks due to their selective presence in the learning environment. Experiment 1 demonstrated the occurrence of contextual dependencies for the learning of four-key typing sequences. Contextual dependencies were diminished in Experiment 2 when the number of keys used in the sequences was reduced. In Experiment 3, a retention condition was incorporated, in which both the intentional and the incidental stimuli were not available; this confirmed that task difficulty mediated the development of contextual dependencies. These findings are discussed with respect to the incorporation of environmental contextual stimuli with memorial representations of movement information.

published proceedings

  • Mem Cognit

author list (cited authors)

  • Wright, D. L., & Shea, C. H.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Wright, DL||Shea, CH

publication date

  • July 1991