When we have rehearsed a movement using an object, we can reproduce the movement without holding the object. However, the reproduced movement sometimes differs from the movement holding a real object, likely because movement recognition is inaccurate. In the present study, we tested whether the recognition capability was dissociated from the acquisition of motor skill memory. Twelve novices were asked to rotate two balls with their right hand as quickly as possible; they practiced the task for 29 days. To evaluate recognition capability, we calculated the difference in coordination pattern of all five digits between the ball-rotation movement and the reproduced movement without holding balls. The recognition capability did not change within the first day, but improved after one week of practice. On the other hand, performance of the ball rotation significantly improved within the first day. Since improvement of performance is likely associated with acquisition of motor skill memory, we suggest that recognition capability, which reflects the capability to cognitively access motor skill memory, was dissociated from the acquisition of motor skill memory. Therefore, recognition of one’s own skilled movement would rely on a hierarchical structure of acquisition of motor skill memory and cognitive access to that memory.
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