Mapping Sonification for Perception and Action in Motor Skill Learning

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Real-time sonification of human movement (conversion of motion signals into sound) can be used as augmented feedback for motor skill learning. With sonification, motor skills can, in some instances, be learned more quickly and successfully (Sigrist et al., 2013a). The goal of such sonification systems is a permanent (or at least, lasting) improvement in performance at a physical task or skill, which persists in the absence of augmented feedback. Many experimental investigations of feedback, however, show that when performance is tested without feedback, a decline occurs (Park et al., 2000; Maslovat et al., 2009). This finding has become known as the “guidance effect” (Buchanan and Wang, 2012). It has been suggested that this effect is a consequence of learner overreliance on the “guidance” provided by augmented feedback, at the expense of task-intrinsic sensory feedback. For effective learning, this is clearly not desirable.

In this paper, we advocate a perception-action approach to sonification when used as feedback for skill learning, which may lead researchers and trainers to design more effective prototypes. We highlight three main issues: 1. The learner's task should be conceived as perception-action based and sonification designed accordingly, 2. Sonification should provide Ecological information for perception rather than propositional knowledge-of-performance, and 3. Ecologically meaningful sound morphologies should be harnessed effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number463
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2017


  • Sonification
  • motor skill learning
  • Augmented Feedback
  • Concurrent Feedback
  • guidance effect
  • Perception and action


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