Marginally perceptible outcome feedback, motor learning and implicit processes

Richard Masters, JP Maxwell, Francis Eves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Participants struck 500 golf balls to a concealed target. Outcome feedback was presented at the subjective or objective threshold of awareness of each participant or at a supraliminal threshold. Participants who received fully perceptible (supraliminal) feedback learned to strike the ball onto the target, as did participants who received feedback that was only marginally perceptible (subjective threshold). Participants who received feedback that was not perceptible (objective threshold) showed no learning. Upon transfer to a condition in which the target was unconcealed, performance increased in both the subjective and the objective threshold condition, but decreased in the supraliminal condition. In all three conditions, participants reported minimal declarative knowledge of their movements, suggesting that deliberate hypothesis testing about how best to move in order to perform the motor task successfully was disrupted by the impoverished disposition of the visual outcome feedback. It was concluded that sub-optimally perceptible visual feedback evokes implicit processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-645
Number of pages7
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Implicit [motor] learning
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Declarative knowledge
  • Subjective and objective threshold of awareness
  • Outcome feedback


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