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Effects of movement practice on task performance : the effects of practice and varying preparation intervals on a sequential motor task

Hueting, T.F. (2015) Effects of movement practice on task performance : the effects of practice and varying preparation intervals on a sequential motor task.

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Abstract:This study is inspired by the international re-Load project which researches the way in which people learn movement sequences, specifically elderly people. Examples of such movement sequences are the automatism of opening a door, where all the individual movements are executed without conscious deliberation. The current research was intended to shed more light on how movements are prepared and what influences that process. In previous literature it was found that choosing the effector (finger) to execute the movement is of great influence on the speed with which the movement is planned and executed. Additionally it was found that movements on the so-called ‘reaching task’, which required one and the same effector regardless of the exact response location, were adversely affected by longer preparation times. This was explained as being because of that no time was necessary to prepare the correct effector, which required visual attention to be maintained for longer, reducing vigilance. In the current research it was hypothesised that the negative effect of preparation time was not so much the result of effector selection, but rather because of that movement direction was always known regardless of the exact response location and did not require planning. To test this hypothesis the current research used the Flexion-Extension (FE) task which also required just one effector, but where movement direction planning was not possible. The results showed that on the FE task people actually experienced beneficial effects of longer preparation intervals, which was contrary to what was expected based on previous literature, taking into account that the FE task also uses only one effector. This means that movement direction planning took a lot of time for which the preparation interval was used. This finding is a strong indication that even when the required effector is known, it still takes a lot of time to prepare the exact movement.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68627
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