Based on the assumption of a working memory processor devoted to human movement, cognitive load theory is used to explore some conditions under which animated instructions are hypothesised to be more effective for learning than equivalent static graphics. Using paper-folding tasks dealing with human movement, results from three experiments confirmed our hypothesis, indicating a superiority of animation over static graphics. These results are discussed in terms of a working memory processor that may be facilitated by our mirror-neuron system and may explain why animated instructional animations are superior to static graphics for cognitively based tasks that involve human movement. Crown Copyright

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Computers in Human Behavior
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Wong, A, Marcus, N, Ayres, P, Smith, L, Cooper, G.A, Paas, G.W.C, & Sweller, J. (2009). Instructional animations can be superior to statics when learning human motor skills. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(2), 339–347. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.12.012