Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Skill training aims to improve the performance of the task at hand and aims to transfer the acquired skill to related tasks. Both skill training and skill transfer are part of our everyday lives, and essential for survival, and their importance is reflected in years of research. Despite these enormous efforts, however, the complex relationship between skill training and skill transfer is not yet portrayed completely. Building upon two theories, we probed this relationship through the example of bimanual learning with a large cross-sectional design (N = 450) using an online framework. We designed five training tasks which differed in the variance of the training material (schema theory) and three transfer tasks differing in their similarity to the training task (identical elements theory). Theoretically, the five training tasks and the three transfer tasks varied approximately linearly from each other. Empirical data, however, suggested merely the presence of three statistically different training tasks and two significantly different transfer tasks, indicating a nonlinear relationship. Against our expectation, Bayesian statistics suggested that the type of skill training was not related to the type of skill transfer. However, the amount of skill training was positively related to the amount of skill transfer. Together, we showed that motor learning studies can be conducted online. Further, our results shed light on the complex relationship between skill training and skill transfer. Understanding this relationship has wide-ranging practical implications for the general population, particularly for musicians, athletes and patients recovering from injury.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Neurosci

Publication Date



bimanual motor coordination, motor learning, online study, training, transfer