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Vibrotactile feedback as a tool to improve motor learning and sports performance: a systematic review


Background Evidence concerning the use of vibrotactile feedback for acquiring and learning new motor skills is limited. Although various concepts and applications for tactile feedback have been proposed, little is known about the suitability of this feedback mechanism in sports training.

Aim The goal of this systematic review was to gather knowledge on the efficacy of the use of vibrotactile feedback in improving sports performance skills.

Design Systematic review.

Methods Comprehensively searched databases were: PubMed, Cochrane and Web of Science. Studies investigating the effects of using vibrotactile feedback in sports training in healthy subjects were included in this review.

Results No consensus was found regarding the positive effectiveness on performance using vibrotactile feedback in a sports context. No evidence was found that the addition of tactile feedback is effective for acquiring new motor skills. None of the studies show a significant learning effect.

  • Review
  • Physiology
  • Neuromuscular

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors The study was planned by EvB, SV and ST. KW and TP conducted the literature search whereas SV was used as author in case of disagreements during selection. EvB and SV wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. EvB, SV, WS and ST discussed and revised the manuscript together and gave final approval for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This paper has been amended since it was published Online First. Owing to a scripting error, some of the publisher names in the references were replaced with 'BMJ Publishing Group'. This only affected the full text version, not the PDF. We have since corrected these errors and the correct publishers have been inserted into the references.

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