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Motor sequence learning : how ageing influences the development of motor skills

Boer, P.S. de (2016) Motor sequence learning : how ageing influences the development of motor skills.

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Abstract:This study examined how ageing influences the capacity to develop new motor skills over time. This was done by using a Discrete Sequence Production (DSP) task consisting of a three-key and a six-key sequence. The participants could be divided into a young adult group (18-23) and a group of elderly (74-85). They participated for two consecutive days. Both days consisted of a nine block practice phase. On the second day after the practice blocks, the participants executed a test block consisting of a sub-block containing the familiar sequences and a sub-block of new three-key and six-key sequences. Furthermore, the participants executed a digit-symbol substitution task and a visuospatial working memory task to study respectively processing speed and working memory. The results demonstrate that elderly were substantially slower when executing the DSP task for both the unfamiliar and familiar sequences. The use of motor chunks was weaker for the elderly in comparison to the young adults, but they still had a positive chunking index indicating that the elderly do make use of chunking mode. Analyses also showed that the elderly in particular profit from an extended practice phase. Throughout time, the increase of chunking index of the young adults stagnated, whereas the elderly their chunking index was still developing. No effects were found of the condition of processing speed and working memory on the development of motor skills.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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