Temperature dependency in motor skill learning

Maarten A. Immink, David L. Wright, William S. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the role of temperature as a contextual condition for motor skill learning. Precision grip task training occurred while forearm cutaneous temperature was either heated (40-45 °C) or cooled (10-15 °C). At test, temperature was either reinstated or changed. Performance was comparable between training conditions while at test, temperature changes decreased accuracy, especially after hot training conditions. After cold training, temperature change deficits were only evident when concurrent force feedback was presented. These findings are the first evidence of localized temperature dependency in motor skill learning in humans. Results are not entirely accounted for by a context-dependent memory explanation and appear to represent an interaction of neuromuscular and sensory processes with the temperature present during training and test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • context-dependent memory
  • force control
  • manual task
  • motor learning
  • temperature


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