Strategic Processes in Sensorimotor Learning: Reasoning, Refinement, and Retrieval
Motor learning has traditionally been viewed as a unitary process that operates outside of conscious awareness. This perspective has led to the development of sophisticated models designed to elucidate the mechanisms of implicit sensorimotor learning. In this review, we argue for a broader perspective, emphasizing the contribution of explicit strategies in simple sensorimotor learning tasks, and how these insights underpin a comprehensive model of strategy use in complex motor skills. As a starting point, we propose three general strategic processes: Reasoning, the process of understanding action-outcome relationships; Refinement, the process of optimizing sensorimotor and cognitive parameters to achieve the motor goal; and Retrieval, the process of inferring the context and recalling a control policy. We anticipate that this 3R framework for understanding the role of explicit strategies in motor learning will open exciting avenues for future research at the intersection between cognition and action.