Some new research published in Psychological Science reinforces motor learning theories on how to practice to learn a skill quickly.
Data was analyzed from over 800,000 people playing an online game called Axon which tested participants' ability to use rapid perception, decision making, and motor responses.
The data revealed that some players achieved higher scores than others even though they all practiced for the same amount of time. The players who learned more quickly than the others had either spaced out their practice time or had more variable early performance (exploration).
The researchers concluded that learning can be improved by using the same practice time to learn more efficiently and to a higher level.
Reference: Tom Stafford and Michael Dewar. Tracing the Trajectory of Skill Learning With a Very Large Sample of Online Game Players. Psychological Science 0956797613511466, first published on December 30, 2013 doi:10.1177/0956797613511466