Learning phenomena: Future challenges for the dynamical systems approach to understanding the learning of complex motor skills Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper focuses on motor learning phenomena that have been described from a motor programming perspective and that provide theoretical challenges for a dynamical systems view of motor control and learning. After presenting a brief overview of each perspective and the major points of division, we specifically address findings regarding non-physical practice methods (mental and observational practice), practice manipulations resulting in acquisition-retention performance reversals (feedback frequency, contextual interference), and experimental manipulations that rely on the performer's intentions (self-control, goal-setting, instructions, allentional focus). The findings are difficult to explain without invoking some form of central representation (or motor program) which is inconsistent with the conceptual model of the «smart motor system» advanced by proponents of dynamical systems.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wulf, G., McNevin, N., Shea, C. H., & Wright, D. L.

complete list of authors

  • Wulf, G||McNevin, N||Shea, CH||Wright, DL

publication date

  • December 1999