Motor and cognitive task performance are displayed in Fig. 2, 3, respectively.

Fig. 2
figure 2

Root mean square error (RMSE) during pre-practice testing (Day 1), practice phase (Day 1 and Day 2), and post-practice testing (Day 3) for the “fixed priority” (filled circles) compared to the “variable priority” (unfilled circles) practice group. DT dual task, ST single task

Fig. 3
figure 3

Total number of correct subtractions during pre-practice testing (Day 1), practice phase (Day 1 and Day 2), and post-practice testing (Day 3) for the “fixed priority” (filled circles) compared to the “variable priority” (unfilled circles) practice group. DT  dual task, ST  single task

Pre-practice testing (day 1)

The main effect of Group (motor task: F(1,26) = 3.366, p = 0.078, ηp2 = 0.12; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 0.139, p = 0.712, ηp2 = 0.01) and the Group × Task interaction were not significant (motor task: F(1,26) = 0.278, p = 0.602, ηp2 = 0.01; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 0.022, p = 0.884, ηp2 = 0.01). Further, the main effect of Task was significant for the cognitive (F(1,26) = 7.135, p = 0.013, ηp2 = 0.22) but not for the motor task (F(1,26) = 0.490, p = 0.490, ηp2 = 0.02), indicating that irrespective of group the number of correct subtractions was lower during DT compared to ST testing.

Practice phase (day 1 and 2)

For both measures, ANOVA yielded significant main effects of Day (motor task: F(1,26) = 65.456, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.72; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 91.491, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.78) and Trial (motor task: F(5,135) = 11.115, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.30; cognitive task: F(5,135) = 48.850, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.64) but not of Group (motor task: F(1,26) = 0.272, p = 0.606, ηp2 = 0.01; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 0.016, p = 0.899, ηp2 = 0.01), indicating performance enhancements across days and trials. The Group × Day × Trial interactions were not significant (motor task: F(5,130) = 0.963, p = 0.443, ηp2 = 0.04; cognitive task: F(5,130) = 0.665, p = 0.651, ηp2 = 0.03), indicating that improvements did not depend on the practiced priority condition.

Post-practice testing (day 3)

Again, the main effect of Group (motor task: F(1,26) = 0.008, p = 0.929, ηp2 = 0.01; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 0.382, p = 0.542, ηp2 = 0.01) and the Group × Task interaction were not significant (motor task: F(1,26) = 3.199, p = 0.085, ηp2 = 0.11; cognitive task: F(1,26) = 0.041, p = 0.842, ηp2 = 0.01). In addition, the main effect of Task was significant for the cognitive (F(1,26) = 7.134, p = 0.013, ηp2 = 0.22) but not for the motor task (F(1,26) = 0.001, p = 1.0, ηp2 = 0.01), indicating that the number of correct subtractions was lower during DT compared to ST testing, irrespective of prioritization.

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