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Autonomous Stage

Autonomous Stage

Learning comes in a variety of forms and serves a multitude of purposes. One of the most fundamental forms of learning is motor learning, or the development of a skill that occurs in tandem with changes in the brain and central nervous system as a result of practice and development. Generally speaking, there are three stages of motor learning: the cognitive stage, in which one begins to understand the skill; the associative stage, in which one begins to practice how to do the skill in question; and the autonomous stage, in which the skill becomes fully integrated into one's abilities.

The autonomous stage is the culmination of significant practice and routine; successful completion of this stage, and thus successful motor learning, results when the individual is able to perform the skill essentially automatically. There is little cognitive effort required of the individual at this stage in order to perform the skill, and one is able to transfer the skill to different environments and scenarios. When a child learns to walk, for example, it is clear they have reached the autonomous stage of skill development when they are able to successfully move with ease in a variety of environments with minimal effort; while they might have learned to walk in a home environment with carpeted floors, reaching the autonomous stage is demonstrated when they can walk on a beach, on wet grass, or in a crowded area with little to no difficulty. The amount of time it takes to reach this stage can vary from one person to the next based on countless factors, including the motivation of the individual, the feedback received, and the physiological condition of the learner, among other elements.

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Autonomous Stage Research Papers

Research papers on the autonomous stage discuss the point in development when significant practice and routine result in an individual being able to perform successful motor learning skills with little effort.

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