2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Does Virtual Reality Facilitate Motor Learning?: A Literature Review

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mariane Bacelar and Dr. Laura Petranek


Through motor learning, we develop essential motor skills that allow us to perform crucial daily living activities. Thus, the development of strategies to make the process of acquiring motor skills more effective is important not only for researchers, but also for practitioners, whose job relies on teaching others how to perform motor skills. Due to recent technological advancements, virtual reality (VR) has been proposed as a cost-effective alternative to support the learning of motor skills. In the present study, we reviewed the literature to investigate how VR has been used in motor learning. Overall, the few studies that have examined the use of VR in skill training support its benefits. For example, studies showed that VR can be used to improve performance in golf putting, tennis, and surgical skill training. In one study, however, the real-world (RW) group performed better than the VR group, which may be due to the fact that the virtual and RW environments were not as similar as in the previous studies. In sum, VR might be a good strategy to improve motor skill acquisition, but more research is needed to determine what type of VR works better and how VR should be implemented into training.

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