Learning movements from a virtual instructor: Effects of spatial orientation, immersion, and expertise.

Motor learning is an essential task, but little is known about how it might be facilitated via instructional presentation, particularly with respect to recent technological advancements. We examined the effects of spatial orientation (0° vs. 180°) and immersion (immersive virtual reality vs. nonimmersive video) on the ability to reproduce complex, dynamic movement sequences. We also evaluated whether these effects were modulated by experience. Experienced dancers and novices practiced dances by imitating a virtual instructor and then, following a delay, had to perform them from memory. In line with theoretical models of motor learning, video-coded accuracy scores increased with successive trials in accordance with the power law of practice. Participants were more accurate after viewing the instructor in a 0° orientation. However, their performance was not improved by immersive virtual reality instruction. Experienced dancers were more accurate than novices, but experience did not interact with orientation or immersion. These results suggest that, when observing complex, dynamic movement sequences, individuals across experience levels can perform and learn these actions better via a 0° orientation, and that virtual instruction does not require immersion to be effective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)