Learning a complex motor skill from video and point-light demonstrations.

Perceptual and Motor Skills 111(2):307 (2010) PMID 21162435

The aim of this study was to compare the learning process of a highly complex ballet skill following demonstrations of point-light and video models. 16 participants divided into point-light and video groups (ns = 8) performed 160 trials of a pirouette, equally distributed in blocks of 20 trials, alternating periods of demonstration and practice, with a retention test a day later. Measures of head and trunk oscillation, coordination disparity from the model, and movement time difference showed similarities between video and point-light groups; ballet experts' evaluations indicated superiority of performance in the video over the point-light group. Results are discussed in terms of the task requirements of dissociation between head and trunk rotations, focusing on the hypothesis of sufficiency and higher relevance of information contained in biological motion models applied to learning of complex motor skills.