Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard A. Magill


Four experiments examined the influence of knowledge of results (KR) schedule and the characteristics of intrinsic feedback on the acquisition and retention of a simple motor task. In the first experiment, subjects practiced a one-dimensional aiming movement and were provided with KR either directly after each trial or after a delay of two trials. The results showed that subjects who received KR after a delay of two trials were less accurate in acquisition but more accurate in retention than subjects who received KR directly after each trial. These results were replicated in a second experiment using a two-dimensional aiming movement. However, when a spring was added to the movement to enhance proprioceptive feedback, there were no differences in acquisition or retention for groups that received the two different schedules of KR presentation. While these results were consistent with predictions, the poor level of retention performance demonstrated by both groups was not expected. A third experiment showed that the poor retention performance was not due to subjects' inability to discriminate the cues afforded by the spring. The final experiment then looked at whether insufficient practice was responsible for the poor retention performance of the spring groups. When additional practice was provided, the group that received KR after a delay of two trials again demonstrated superior retention performance to the group that received KR directly after each trial. These results are interpreted in terms of a proposed relationship between the complexity and salience of intrinsic feedback and dependence on KR. Finally, theoretical and practical implications are discussed.