Science

Improved Perception Equals Improved Motor Skills

In a small but surprising study from 2000, Motor timing learned without motor training [PDF], researchers found that training on perception task led to a significant increase in motor skill.
Both tasks required processing of time. The perception task was to discriminate temporal intervals denoted by brief auditory stimuli, and the motor task was to produce successive finger movements separated by a target temporal interval. Evidence suggests a common neural substrate for time perception and motor timing. Thus we tested the possibility that … perceptual training, could affect motor timing….
In other words, participants showed more motor improvement when the temporal requirements of the motor task matched the temporal characteristics of their perceptual training …. The finding that motor learning can occur without motor training has interesting implications for development and rehabilitation.