The representation, production, and transfer of simple and complex movement sequences Chapter uri icon


  • Understanding the processes involved in fluent production of sequential movements such as those involved in daily life, sports, and work activities (e.g., speech, handwriting, typing, playing a musical instrument, driving an automobile, or operating complex equipment) has been the focus of research for a number of theoretical and applied reasons. Theoretically, sequential movements are thought to be initially composed of a number of relatively independent elements that, through practice, are organized into what appear to be a smaller number of subsequences (Park & Shea, 2003b; termed motor chunks by Verwey, 1994). Moreover, the sequences are coded in one of two coordinate systems. One coordinate system is based on Cartesian coordinates of the visual-spatial movement space and the other is based on motor coordinates, such as sequential joint angles or muscle activation patterns. Further, the coordinate system used by a participant to code or represent sequence information appears to play an important role in determining how effectively it can be produced under various retention and transfer conditions. From a practical standpoint, the study of sequential movements is important because this type of movement comprises a significant proportion of our skilled movement repertoire and often represents some of the most complicated and difficult movements we wish to acquire and execute. Improved understanding of the processes involved in the performance, learning, and transfer of movement sequences should lead to the design of more effective and efficient training procedures that exploit the way we structure and represent sequence information in memory.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shea, C. H., & Wright, D.

complete list of authors

  • Shea, CH||Wright, David

editor list (cited editors)

  • Hodges, N., & Williams, A. M.

Book Title

  • Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice

publication date

  • January 2012