Recent studies in cognitive neuroscience have provided evidence for the importance of positive feedback or successful experiences on behavioral changes. This chapter explores three examples in which positive feedback or successful experiences modulate neural function or behavioral outcomes: (1) In a visual-motor sequential learning task that initially requires trial-and-error processing, errors in the learning stage do not seem to have any significant effect on performance in successive identical trials (elaboration stage), in either accuracy or speed of performance. However, relative to experiencing errors, success in the initial learning stage leads to enhanced performance in the later elaboration stage. (2) Praise or social rewards not only motivate online learning but also directly enhance offline improvement, or consolidation, of motor skills. (3) Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proven to enhance motor functions in both healthy individuals and stroke patients. I propose that various human functions, including learning and recovery, are enhanced by using normal and clinical applications that provide successful experience and positive feedback.
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