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Sample records for motor skills matter

  1. A Matter of Balance: Motor Control is Related to Children's Spatial and Proportional Reasoning Skills.

    PubMed

    Frick, Andrea; Möhring, Wenke

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has shown close links between spatial and mathematical thinking and between spatial abilities and motor skills. However, longitudinal research examining the relations between motor, spatial, and mathematical skills is rare, and the nature of these relations remains unclear. The present study thus investigated the relation between children's motor control and their spatial and proportional reasoning. We measured 6-year-olds' spatial scaling (i.e., the ability to reason about different-sized spaces), their mental transformation skills, and their ability to balance on one leg as an index for motor control. One year later (N = 126), we tested the same children's understanding of proportions. We also assessed several control variables (verbal IQ and socio-economic status) as well as inhibitory control, visuo-spatial and verbal working memory. Stepwise hierarchical regressions showed that, after accounting for effects of control variables, children's balance skills significantly increased the explained variance in their spatial performance and proportional reasoning. Our results suggest specific relations between balance skills and spatial as well as proportional reasoning skills that cannot be explained by general differences in executive functioning or intelligence.

  2. Differential grey matter changes in sensorimotor cortex related to exceptional fine motor skills.

    PubMed

    Stoeckel, M Cornelia; Morgenroth, Farina; Buetefisch, Cathrin M; Seitz, Rüdiger J

    2012-01-01

    Functional changes in sensorimotor representation occur in response to use and lesion throughout life. Emerging evidence suggests that functional changes are paralleled by respective macroscopic structural changes. In the present study we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate sensorimotor cortex in subjects with congenitally malformed upper extremities. We expected increased or decreased grey matter to parallel the enlarged or reduced functional representations we reported previously. More specifically, we expected decreased grey matter values in lateral sensorimotor cortex related to compromised hand function and increased grey matter values in medial sensorimotor cortex due to compensatory foot use. We found a medial cluster of grey matter increase in subjects with frequent, hand-like compensatory foot use. This increase was predominantly seen for lateral premotor, supplementary motor, and motor areas and only marginally involved somatosensory cortex. Contrary to our expectation, subjects with a reduced number of fingers, who had shown shrinkage of the functional hand representation previously, did not show decreased grey matter values within lateral sensorimotor cortex. Our data suggest that functional plastic changes in sensorimotor cortex can be associated with increases in grey matter but may also occur in otherwise macroscopically normal appearing grey matter volumes. Furthermore, macroscopic structural changes in motor and premotor areas may be observed without respective changes in somatosensory cortex.

  3. A Matter of Balance: Motor Control is Related to Children’s Spatial and Proportional Reasoning Skills

    PubMed Central

    Frick, Andrea; Möhring, Wenke

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown close links between spatial and mathematical thinking and between spatial abilities and motor skills. However, longitudinal research examining the relations between motor, spatial, and mathematical skills is rare, and the nature of these relations remains unclear. The present study thus investigated the relation between children’s motor control and their spatial and proportional reasoning. We measured 6-year-olds’ spatial scaling (i.e., the ability to reason about different-sized spaces), their mental transformation skills, and their ability to balance on one leg as an index for motor control. One year later (N = 126), we tested the same children’s understanding of proportions. We also assessed several control variables (verbal IQ and socio-economic status) as well as inhibitory control, visuo-spatial and verbal working memory. Stepwise hierarchical regressions showed that, after accounting for effects of control variables, children’s balance skills significantly increased the explained variance in their spatial performance and proportional reasoning. Our results suggest specific relations between balance skills and spatial as well as proportional reasoning skills that cannot be explained by general differences in executive functioning or intelligence. PMID:26793157

  4. Background matters: Minor vibratory stimulation during motor skill acquisition selectively reduces off-line memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Korman, Maria; Herling, Zohar; Levy, Ishay; Egbarieh, Nebal; Engel-Yeger, Batya; Karni, Avi

    2017-04-01

    Although a ubiquitous situation, it is not clear how effective is a learning experience when task-irrelevant, sensory noise occurs in the background. Here, young adults were trained on the finger opposition sequence task, in a well-established training and testing protocol affording measures for online as well as off-line learning. During the training session, one group experienced a minor background vibratory stimulation to the trunk by the means of vibrating cushion, while the second group experienced recorded sound vibrations. A control group was trained with no extra sensory stimulation. Sensory stimulation during training had no effect on the online within-session gains, but dampened the expression of the off-line, consolidation phase, gains in the two sensory stimulation groups. These results suggest that background sensory stimulation can selectively modify off-line, procedural memory consolidation processes, despite well-preserved on-line learning. Classical studies have shown that neural plasticity in sensory systems is modulated by motor input. The current results extend this notion and suggest that some types of task-irrelevant sensory stimulation, concurrent with motor training, may constitute a 'gating' factor - modulating the triggering of long-term procedural memory consolidation processes. Thus, vibratory stimulation may be considered as a behavioral counterpart of pharmacological interventions that do not interfere with short term neural plasticity but block long-term plasticity.

  5. Stages of motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Luft, Andreas R; Buitrago, Manuel M

    2005-12-01

    Successful learning of a motor skill requires repetitive training. Once the skill is mastered, it can be remembered for a long period of time. The durable memory makes motor skill learning an interesting paradigm for the study of learning and memory mechanisms. To gain better understanding, one scientific approach is to dissect the process into stages and to study these as well as their interactions. This article covers the growing evidence that motor skill learning advances through stages, in which different storage mechanisms predominate. The acquisition phase is characterized by fast (within session) and slow learning (between sessions). For a short period following the initial training sessions, the skill is labile to interference by other skills and by protein synthesis inhibition, indicating that consolidation processes occur during rest periods between training sessions. During training as well as rest periods, activation in different brain regions changes dynamically. Evidence for stages in motor skill learning is provided by experiments using behavioral, electrophysiological, functional imaging, and cellular/molecular methods.

  6. Maintaining Motor Skill Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-06-18

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  7. Retention of Motor Skills. Review

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1978-09-01

    PERIOD COVERED TENTION OF MOTOR SKILLS4 REVIEW p Literature review aAU . CONTRACT OR GRANT NUMBER( e ) J. D. Schendel, J. L. Shields,-Afi. S.)Katz S...and ( e ) initial or "natural" ability of the flearner in performance of a task without prior practice. The procedural variables that may affect the long...training; (c) transfer of skills on one task to performance on another task; (d) presence of interfering activities; ( e ) distribution of practice

  8. Improving Motor Skills through Listening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Lin

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses how to improve a child's motor skills through listening by using three simple steps--recording the auditory model, determining when to use the auditory model, and considering where to use the auditory model. She points out the importance of using a demonstration technique that helps learners understand the…

  9. Sport expert's motor imagery: functional imaging of professional motor skills and simple motor skills.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gaoxia; Luo, Jing

    2010-06-23

    Numerous studies provide evidence that motor skill acquisition is associated with dynamic changes in cortical and subcortical regions. Athletes are a professional population who are engaged in extensive motor training for long periods. However, the neural substrates of extreme level motor performance have not been clarified. We used kinesthetic imagery task to induce the mental representation of sport expert's extraordinary performance in view of the shared substrates of executing movement and motor imagery. For the first time, we compared, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the pattern of cerebral activations in 12 professional divers and 12 normal people without extensive training, during imagery of professional skills and imagery of simple motor skills. The sport experts showed significant activation in the parahippocampus during imagery of professional skills relative to the novices, which might reflect the representation adapted to experience-related motor tasks. No significant difference was found between experts and novices when they imagined simple motor skills. These results indicated the experts might utilize their kinesthetic imagery more efficiently than novices, but only for the activity in which they had expertise. The sport experts also demonstrated more focused activation patterns in prefrontal areas in both of imagery tasks, which may be relevant to higher order of motor control during motor imagery. Moreover, this study suggested that the brains of sport experts could be regarded as the ideal subjects to explore the relationship between cerebral plasticity and learning of complex motor skills.

  10. Supporting Young Children's Motor Skill Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benelli, Cecelia; Yongue, Bill

    1995-01-01

    Addresses importance of planned motor skill development, providing specific guidelines for adults working with three-, four-, and five-year olds. Describes the influence of motor development on cognitive, language, emotional, and social development. Suggests using verbal feedback, visual assistance, and demonstration for teaching motor skills.…

  11. On the Problem of Motor Skill Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Jane E.

    2007-01-01

    As a way to address the serious obesity epidemic in the United States, many physical education classes have become fitness centers designed to raise heart rates and burn calories. An unintended consequence of this emphasis on fitness, however, is the lack of attention to motor skill development. Motor skills do not develop miraculously from one…

  12. Motor skill depends on knowledge of facts

    PubMed Central

    Stanley, Jason; Krakauer, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Those in 20th century philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience who have discussed the nature of skilled action have, for the most part, accepted the view that being skilled at an activity is independent of knowing facts about that activity, i.e., that skill is independent of knowledge of facts. In this paper we question this view of motor skill. We begin by situating the notion of skill in historical and philosophical context. We use the discussion to explain and motivate the view that motor skill depends upon knowledge of facts. This conclusion seemingly contradicts well-known results in cognitive science. It is natural, on the face of it, to take the case of H.M., the seminal case in cognitive neuroscience that led to the discovery of different memory systems, as providing powerful evidence for the independence of knowledge and skill acquisition. After all, H.M. seems to show that motor learning is retained even when previous knowledge about the activity has been lost. Improvements in skill generally require increased precision of selected actions, which we call motor acuity. Motor acuity may indeed not require propositional knowledge and has direct parallels with perceptual acuity. We argue, however, that reflection on the specifics of H.M.'s case, as well as other research on the nature of skill, indicates that learning to become skilled at a motor task, for example tennis, depends also on knowledge-based selection of the right actions. Thus skilled activity requires both acuity and knowledge, with both increasing with practice. The moral of our discussion ranges beyond debates about motor skill; we argue that it undermines any attempt to draw a distinction between practical and theoretical activities. While we will reject the independence of skill and knowledge, our discussion leaves open several different possible relations between knowledge and skill. Deciding between them is a task to be resolved by future research. PMID:24009571

  13. Aging and Motor Skill: A Research Frontier.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lersten, Ken

    This report reviews research which characterizes the motor skill capacity of older persons, 50 years of age and beyond. Research dealing with sensory-motor systems, memory, and practice factors receives major attention. Suggestions for future research include the following: (a) social psychological parameters which contribute to motor learning and…

  14. Detection and Prevalence of Motor Skill Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nikolic, Snezana J.; Ilic-Stosovic, Danijela D.

    2009-01-01

    The main goal of this research was to establish the prevalence, form of manifestation, level and kind of motor skill disorders in three area of motor development functioning: neuromaturation, coordination and balance. The sample included 1165 children, between 6.5 and 11 years of age. The protocol was constructed and contained tests for the…

  15. Activities to Develop Your Students' Motor Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastman, Mary Kay; Safran, Joan S.

    1986-01-01

    Instructions and illustrations support this discussion of learning activities designed to remediate deficiences and build skills in balance and/or motor skills for mildly handicapped students who may not have access to physical therapy or adaptive physical education. Appropriate for both regular and special classes, activities include arm…

  16. Psychological Readiness and Motor Skills Needed for Toilet Training

    MedlinePlus

    ... Text Size Email Print Share Psychological Readiness and Motor Skills Needed for Toilet Training Page Content Article ... to see toilet training as a desirable skill. Motor Skills In addition to his physiological development, your ...

  17. Motor Skill Acquisition Promotes Human Brain Myelin Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lakhani, Bimal; Borich, Michael R.; Jackson, Jacob N.; Wadden, Katie P.; Peters, Sue; Villamayor, Anica; MacKay, Alex L.; Vavasour, Irene M.; Rauscher, Alexander; Boyd, Lara A.

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent structural changes are widely evident in gray matter. Using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the neuroplastic effect of motor training on white matter in the brain has been demonstrated. However, in humans it is not known whether specific features of white matter relate to motor skill acquisition or if these structural changes are associated to functional network connectivity. Myelin can be objectively quantified in vivo and used to index specific experience-dependent change. In the current study, seventeen healthy young adults completed ten sessions of visuomotor skill training (10,000 total movements) using the right arm. Multicomponent relaxation imaging was performed before and after training. Significant increases in myelin water fraction, a quantitative measure of myelin, were observed in task dependent brain regions (left intraparietal sulcus [IPS] and left parieto-occipital sulcus). In addition, the rate of motor skill acquisition and overall change in myelin water fraction in the left IPS were negatively related, suggesting that a slower rate of learning resulted in greater neuroplastic change. This study provides the first evidence for experience-dependent changes in myelin that are associated with changes in skilled movements in healthy young adults. PMID:27293906

  18. Brainstem White Matter Predicts Individual Differences in Manual Motor Difficulties and Symptom Severity in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Travers, Brittany G.; Bigler, Erin D.; Tromp, Do P. M.; Adluru, Nagesh; Destiche, Dan; Samsin, Danica; Froehlich, Alyson; Prigge, Molly D. B.; Duffield, Tyler C.; Lange, Nicholas; Alexander, Andrew L.; Lainhart, Janet E.

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that poorer motor skills may be related to more severe autism symptoms. This study investigated if atypical white matter microstructure in the brain mediated the relationship between motor skills and ASD symptom severity. Sixty-seven males with ASD and 42 males with typical development (5-33 years old) completed a…

  19. Computer games and fine motor skills.

    PubMed

    Borecki, Lukasz; Tolstych, Katarzyna; Pokorski, Mieczyslaw

    2013-01-01

    The study seeks to determine the influence of computer games on fine motor skills in young adults, an area of incomplete understanding and verification. We hypothesized that computer gaming could have a positive influence on basic motor skills, such as precision, aiming, speed, dexterity, or tremor. We examined 30 habitual game users (F/M - 3/27; age range 20-25 years) of the highly interactive game Counter Strike, in which players impersonate soldiers on a battlefield, and 30 age- and gender-matched subjects who declared never to play games. Selected tests from the Vienna Test System were used to assess fine motor skills and tremor. The results demonstrate that the game users scored appreciably better than the control subjects in all tests employed. In particular, the players did significantly better in the precision of arm-hand movements, as expressed by a lower time of errors, 1.6 ± 0.6 vs. 2.8 ± 0.6 s, a lower error rate, 13.6 ± 0.3 vs. 20.4 ± 2.2, and a shorter total time of performing a task, 14.6 ± 2.9 vs. 32.1 ± 4.5 s in non-players, respectively; p < 0.001 all. The findings demonstrate a positive influence of computer games on psychomotor functioning. We submit that playing computer games may be a useful training tool to increase fine motor skills and movement coordination.

  20. Is Treating Motor Problems in DCD Just a Matter of Practice and More Practice?

    PubMed

    Schoemaker, Marina M; Smits-Engelsman, Bouwien C M

    Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is often called a motor learning deficit. The question addressed in this paper is whether improvement of motor skills is just a matter of mere practice. Without any kind of intervention, children with DCD do not improve their motor skills generally, whereas they do improve after task-oriented intervention. Merely offering children the opportunity to practice motor skills, for instance by playing active video games, did lead to improved motor performance according to recent research findings, but to a lesser extent than task-oriented intervention. We argue that children with DCD lack the required motor problem-solving skills necessary to further improve their performance. Explicit motor teaching with an emphasis on developing these problem-solving skills is a necessary ingredient of intervention in DCD, leveraging the effectiveness of intervention above that of mere practicing.

  1. Female choice for male motor skills

    PubMed Central

    Barske, Julia; Schlinger, Barney A.; Wikelski, Martin; Fusani, Leonida

    2011-01-01

    Sexual selection was proposed by Darwin to explain the evolution of male sexual traits such as ornaments and elaborate courtship displays. Empirical and theoretical studies have traditionally focused on ornaments; the reasons for the evolution of elaborate, acrobatic courtship displays remain unclear. We addressed the hypothesis that females choose males on the basis of subtle differences in display performance, indicating motor skills that facilitate survival. Male golden-collared manakins (Manacus vitellinus) perform elaborate, acrobatic courtship displays. We used high-speed cameras to record the displays of wild males and analysed them in relation to male reproductive success. Females preferred males that performed specific display moves at greater speed, with differences of tens of milliseconds strongly impacting female preference. In additional males, we recorded telemetrically the heart rate during courtship using miniature transmitters and found that courtship is associated with profoundly elevated heart rates, revealing a large metabolic investment. Our study provides evidence that females choose their mates on the basis of subtle differences in motor performance during courtship. We propose that elaborate, acrobatic courtship dances evolve because they reflect motor skills and cardiovascular function of males. PMID:21508030

  2. The Gross Motor Skills of Children with Mild Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nonis, Karen P.; Jernice, Tan Sing Yee

    2014-01-01

    Many international studies have examined the gross motor skills of children studying in special schools while local studies of such nature are limited. This study investigated the gross motor skills of children with Mild Learning Disabilities (MLD; n = 14, M age = 8.93 years, SD = 0.33) with the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2, Ulrich,…

  3. Motor Development and Skill Analysis. Connections to Elementary Physical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mielke, Dan; Morrison, Craig

    1985-01-01

    Drawing upon stages of motor development and elements of biomechanics, the authors used anatomical planes as a frame of reference to determine movement patterns and assess readiness to perform movement skills. The combination of determining readiness and analyzing skill enables the teacher to plan proper motor skill activities. (MT)

  4. The Effects of Basketball Basic Skills Training on Gross Motor Skills Development of Female Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayazit, Betul

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of basketball basic skills training on gross motor skills development of female children in Turkey. For that purpose, 40 female children took part in the study voluntarily. Basketball basic skills test was used to improve the gross motor skills of the female children in the study. Also,…

  5. Development of white matter and reading skills.

    PubMed

    Yeatman, Jason D; Dougherty, Robert F; Ben-Shachar, Michal; Wandell, Brian A

    2012-10-30

    White matter tissue properties are highly correlated with reading proficiency; we would like to have a model that relates the dynamics of an individual's white matter development to their acquisition of skilled reading. The development of cerebral white matter involves multiple biological processes, and the balance between these processes differs between individuals. Cross-sectional measures of white matter mask the interplay between these processes and their connection to an individual's cognitive development. Hence, we performed a longitudinal study to measure white-matter development (diffusion-weighted imaging) and reading development (behavioral testing) in individual children (age 7-15 y). The pattern of white-matter development differed significantly among children. In the left arcuate and left inferior longitudinal fasciculus, children with above-average reading skills initially had low fractional anisotropy (FA) that increased over the 3-y period, whereas children with below-average reading skills had higher initial FA that declined over time. We describe a dual-process model of white matter development comprising biological processes with opposing effects on FA, such as axonal myelination and pruning, to explain the pattern of results.

  6. Development of fine motor skills in preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Bos, Arend F; Van Braeckel, Koenraad N J A; Hitzert, Marrit M; Tanis, Jozien C; Roze, Elise

    2013-11-01

    Fine motor skills are related to functioning in daily life and at school. We reviewed the status of knowledge, in preterm children, on the development of fine motor skills, the relation with gross motor skills, and risk factors for impaired fine motor skills. We searched the past 15 years in PubMed, using ['motor skills' or 'fine motor function' and 'preterm infant'] as the search string. Impaired gross and fine motor skills are among the most frequently occurring problems encountered by preterm children who do not develop cerebral palsy. The prevalence is around 40% for mild to moderate impairment and 20% for moderate impairment. Fine motor skill scores on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children are about 0.62 of a standard deviation lower compared with term children. Risk factors for fine motor impairments include moderately preterm birth (odds ratio [OR] 2.0) and, among very preterm children (<32 wk gestation), intra-uterine growth restriction (ORs 2-3), inflammatory conditions (late-onset sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis, ORs 3-5), and dexamethasone therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (OR 2.7). A better understanding of factors that play a role in the development of and recovery from brain injury could guide future intervention attempts aimed at improving fine motor skills of preterm children.

  7. Young Athletes: A Special Olympics Motor Skill Development Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Favazza, Paddy C.; Siperstein, Gary N.

    2013-01-01

    While motor skills develop naturally among most typically developing preschoolers, young children with disabilities often experience deficits in this area. Therefore, it is important that children with disabilities are provided with "direct and intentional instruction" for motor skill development during the preschool years. One program…

  8. Motor Skills of Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lloyd, Meghann; MacDonald, Megan; Lord, Catherine

    2013-01-01

    With increased interest in the early diagnosis and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), more attention has been called to the motor skills of very young children with ASD. This study describes the gross and fine motor skills of a cross-sectional group of 162 children with ASD between the ages of 12 and 36 months, as well as…

  9. Helping Preschoolers Prepare for Writing: Developing Fine Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huffman, J. Michelle; Fortenberry, Callie

    2011-01-01

    Early childhood is the most intensive period for the development of physical skills. Writing progress depends largely on the development of fine motor skills involving small muscle movements of the hand. Young children need to participate in a variety of developmentally appropriate activities intentionally designed to promote fine motor control.…

  10. Skeletal maturation, fundamental motor skills and motor coordination in children 7-10 years.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Duarte L; Lausen, Berthold; Maia, José António; Lefevre, Johan; Gouveia, Élvio Rúbio; Thomis, Martine; Antunes, António Manuel; Claessens, Albrecht L; Beunen, Gaston; Malina, Robert M

    2015-01-01

    Relationships between skeletal maturation and fundamental motor skills and gross motor coordination were evaluated in 429 children (213 boys and 216 girls) 7-10 years. Skeletal age was assessed (Tanner-Whitehouse 2 method), and stature, body mass, motor coordination (Körperkoordinations Test für Kinder, KTK) and fundamental motor skills (Test of Gross Motor Development, TGMD-2) were measured. Relationships among chronological age, skeletal age (expressed as the standardised residual of skeletal age on chronological age) and body size and fundamental motor skills and motor coordination were analysed with hierarchical multiple regression. Standardised residual of skeletal age on chronological age interacting with stature and body mass explained a maximum of 7.0% of the variance in fundamental motor skills and motor coordination over that attributed to body size per se. Standardised residual of skeletal age on chronological age alone accounted for a maximum of 9.0% of variance in fundamental motor skills, and motor coordination over that attributed to body size per se and interactions between standardised residual of skeletal age on chronological age and body size. In conclusion, skeletal age alone or interacting with body size has a negligible influence on fundamental motor skills and motor coordination in children 7-10 years.

  11. To What Extent Can Motor Imagery Replace Motor Execution While Learning a Fine Motor Skill?

    PubMed Central

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery is generally thought to share common mechanisms with motor execution. In the present study, we examined to what extent learning a fine motor skill by motor imagery may substitute physical practice. Learning effects were assessed by manipulating the proportion of motor execution and motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery. PMID:28154614

  12. To What Extent Can Motor Imagery Replace Motor Execution While Learning a Fine Motor Skill?

    PubMed

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Szarkiewicz, Sylwia; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Motor imagery is generally thought to share common mechanisms with motor execution. In the present study, we examined to what extent learning a fine motor skill by motor imagery may substitute physical practice. Learning effects were assessed by manipulating the proportion of motor execution and motor imagery trials. Additionally, learning effects were compared between participants with an explicit motor imagery instruction and a control group. A Go/NoGo discrete sequence production (DSP) task was employed, wherein a five-stimulus sequence presented on each trial indicated the required sequence of finger movements after a Go signal. In the case of a NoGo signal, participants either had to imagine carrying out the response sequence (the motor imagery group), or the response sequence had to be withheld (the control group). Two practice days were followed by a final test day on which all sequences had to be executed. Learning effects were assessed by computing response times (RTs) and the percentages of correct responses (PCs). The electroencephalogram (EEG ) was additionally measured on this test day to examine whether motor preparation and the involvement of visual short term memory (VST M) depended on the amount of physical/mental practice. Accuracy data indicated strong learning effects. However, a substantial amount of physical practice was required to reach an optimal speed. EEG results suggest the involvement of VST M for sequences that had less or no physical practice in both groups. The absence of differences between the motor imagery and the control group underlines the possibility that motor preparation may actually resemble motor imagery.

  13. The Influence of Motor Skills on Measurement Accuracy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brychta, Petr; Sadílek, Marek; Brychta, Josef

    2016-10-01

    This innovative study trying to do interdisciplinary interface at first view different ways fields: kinantropology and mechanical engineering. A motor skill is described as an action which involves the movement of muscles in a body. Gross motor skills permit functions as a running, jumping, walking, punching, lifting and throwing a ball, maintaining a body balance, coordinating etc. Fine motor skills captures smaller neuromuscular actions, such as holding an object between the thumb and a finger. In mechanical inspection, the accuracy of measurement is most important aspect. The accuracy of measurement to some extent is also dependent upon the sense of sight or sense of touch associated with fine motor skills. It is therefore clear that the level of motor skills will affect the precision and accuracy of measurement in metrology. Aim of this study is literature review to find out fine motor skills level of individuals and determine the potential effect of different fine motor skill performance on precision and accuracy of mechanical engineering measuring.

  14. Poor motor skills: a risk marker for bully victimization.

    PubMed

    Bejerot, Susanne; Plenty, Stephanie; Humble, Alice; Humble, Mats B

    2013-01-01

    Children who are clumsy are often bullied. Nevertheless, motor skills have been overlooked in research on bullying victimization. A total of 2,730 Swedish adults (83% females) responded to retrospective questions on bullying, their talents in physical education (i.e., coordination and balls skills) and school academics. Poor talents were used as indicators of poor gross motor skills and poor academic skills. A subset of participants also provided information on educational level in adulthood, childhood obesity, belonging to an ethic minority in school and socioeconomic status relative to schoolmates. A total of 29.4% of adults reported being bullied in school, and 18.4% reported having below average gross motor skills. Of those with below average motor skills, 48.6% were bullied in school. Below average motor skills in childhood were associated with an increased risk (OR 3.01 [95% CI: 1.97-4.60]) of being bullied, even after adjusting for the influence of lower socioeconomic status, poor academic performance, being overweight, and being a bully. Higher odds for bully victimization were also associated with lower socioeconomic status (OR 2.29 [95% CI: 1.45-3.63]), being overweight (OR 1.71 [95% CI: 1.18-2.47]) and being a bully (OR 2.18 [95% CI: 1.53-3.11]). The findings indicate that poor gross motor skills constitute a robust risk-marker for vulnerability for bully victimization.

  15. 125 years of perceptual-motor skill research.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Digby; Hayes, Spencer J; Bennett, Simon J

    2012-01-01

    This article celebrates the contribution that the American Journal of Psychology (AJP) has made to the area of perceptual-motor skill over its 125-year history. We highlight the articles published in AJP and trace the technical and theoretical developments that stem from this groundbreaking work. Included in our overview are AJP articles on the excitability of the motor system, motor learning, adaptation to visual rearrangement, the ecological approach to perception and action, and the measurement of human handedness. We conclude by identifying a number of areas associated with perceptual-motor skill where AJP continues to make an important contribution.

  16. White matter integrity of motor connections related to training gains in healthy aging.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Robert; Zimerman, Máximo; Timmermann, Jan E; Wessel, Maximilian J; Gerloff, Christian; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2014-06-01

    Impaired motor skill acquisition is a feature of older age. Acquisition of new motor skills requires the interplay between different cortical motor areas. Using diffusion tensor imaging we reconstructed cortico-cortical connections between the primary motor cortex (M1) and secondary motor areas in 11 older and 11 young participants who took part in a motor skill acquisition paradigm with the nondominant left hand. Examining the extent to which tract-related integrity correlated with training gains we found that white matter integrity of fibers connecting contralateral M1 with both contralateral (r = 0.85) and ipsilateral supplementary motor areas (r = 0.92) were positively associated in old participants. Also, fibers connecting contralateral M1 with ipsilateral dorsal premotor (r = 0.82) and fibers connecting ipsilateral dorsal premotor and supplementary motor area (r = 0.88) were positively related to skill acquisition (all p < 0.05). A similar structure-behavior relationship was not present in the young control subjects suggesting a critical role of brain structural integrity for motor learning in healthy aging.

  17. The influence of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill.

    PubMed

    Sobierajewicz, Jagna; Przekoracka-Krawczyk, Anna; Jaśkowski, Wojciech; Verwey, Willem B; van der Lubbe, Rob

    2017-01-01

    Motor imagery has been argued to affect the acquisition of motor skills. The present study examined the specificity of motor imagery on the learning of a fine hand motor skill by employing a modified discrete sequence production task: the Go/NoGo DSP task. After an informative cue, a response sequence had either to be executed, imagined, or withheld. To establish learning effects, the experiment was divided into a practice phase and a test phase. In the latter phase, we compared mean response times and accuracy during the execution of unfamiliar sequences, familiar imagined sequences, and familiar executed sequences. The electroencephalogram was measured in the practice phase to compare activity between motor imagery, motor execution, and a control condition in which responses should be withheld. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and event-related lateralizations (ERLs) showed strong similarities above cortical motor areas on trials requiring motor imagery and motor execution, while a major difference was found with trials on which the response sequence should be withheld. Behavioral results from the test phase showed that response times and accuracy improved after physical and mental practice relative to unfamiliar sequences (so-called sequence-specific learning effects), although the effect of motor learning by motor imagery was smaller than the effect of physical practice. These findings confirm that motor imagery also resembles motor execution in the case of a fine hand motor skill.

  18. Motor Skill Competence and Physical Activity in Preschoolers: A Review.

    PubMed

    Figueroa, Roger; An, Ruopeng

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Preschoolers 3-5 years of age are in a crucial stage of motor skill competence. While preschoolers develop their motor skill competence through engagement in physical activity, a majority of them fail to meet guideline-recommended physical activity level. This study reviews scientific evidence on the relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity among preschoolers. Methods This systematic review followed the PRISMA framework. Keyword and reference search were conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. Inclusion criteria included-age: 3-5 years of age; setting: preschool environment (e.g., preschool, childcare, head start); main outcomes: motor skill competence and physical activity; study design: cross-sectional study, case-control study, retrospective cohort study, prospective cohort study, or randomized controlled trial; language: English; and article type: peer-reviewed publication. Results Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria, including 6 randomized controlled trials and 5 cross-sectional studies. Studies were conducted in 5 countries: United States (5), United Kingdom (2), Australia (2), Switzerland (1), and Finland (1). Eight out of the 11 studies included in the review reported a significant relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity. The specific pattern and strength of the relationship tend to differ by gender, physical activity intensity, motor skill type, and day of the week (weekdays versus weekends). Conclusions An association has been consistently documented between motor skill competence and physical activity. Future research is warranted to elucidate the underlining causal link, examine potential heterogeneity, and determine the role of environment in the relationship between motor skill competence and physical activity among preschoolers.

  19. Automated Motor Skills Training Optimized for Individual Differences.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-11-01

    training. A general review of the researh effort as well as a .pecific discussion of the research conducted during 1 October 1979 to 󈧎 Septem~her P1...1977. I Savage, R. E., Williges, R. C., and Williges, B. H. Individual differences in motor skill training. Paper presented at the Sixth Psychology in...Paper presented at the Sixth Psychology in the DoD Symposium, April, 1979. Williges, R. C. and Williges, B. H. Automated motor skills training

  20. Transfer of motor and perceptual skills from basketball to darts

    PubMed Central

    Rienhoff, Rebecca; Hopwood, Melissa J.; Fischer, Lennart; Strauss, Bernd; Baker, Joseph; Schorer, Jörg

    2013-01-01

    The quiet eye is a perceptual skill associated with expertise and superior performance; however, little is known about the transfer of quiet eye across domains. We attempted to replicate previous skill-based differences in quiet eye and investigated whether transfer of motor and perceptual skills occurs between similar tasks. Throwing accuracy and quiet eye duration for skilled and less-skilled basketball players were examined in basketball free throw shooting and the transfer task of dart throwing. Skilled basketball players showed significantly higher throwing accuracy and longer quiet eye duration in the basketball free throw task compared to their less-skilled counterparts. Further, skilled basketball players showed positive transfer from basketball to dart throwing in accuracy but not in quiet eye duration. Our results raise interesting questions regarding the measurement of transfer between skills. PMID:24062703

  1. Delayed Motor Skill Acquisition in Kindergarten Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Strulovich-Schwartz, Orli; Julius, Mona

    2011-01-01

    The acquisition and consolidation of a new grapho-motor symbol into long-term memory was studied in 5-year-old children with language impairment (LI) and peers matched for age and visual-motor integration skills. The children practiced the production of a new symbol and were tested 24 h and two weeks post-practice day. Differences in performance…

  2. Collaborative Teaching of Motor Skills for Preschoolers with Developmental Delays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murata, Nathan M.; Tan, Carol A.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe collaborative teaching between preschool teachers, adapted physical educators, physical therapists, and occupational therapists of motor skills for preschoolers with developmental delays. The motor domain is typically taught by the classroom teacher who may have little to no knowledge of how to initiate a…

  3. Assessing Gross Motor Skills of Kosovar Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shala, Merita

    2009-01-01

    In the light of the new developments in preschool education in Kosovo, this study attempts to carry out an assessment of the development of gross motor skills of preschool children attending institutional education. The emphasis is on creating a set of tests to measure the motor attainments of these children by conducting assessments of the…

  4. Teaching Motor Skills to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Teri

    2012-01-01

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are commonly characterized by deficits in the social and communication domains. However, up to 80 percent of this population also have poor motor skills. Individuals with an ASD experience difficulties in motor planning, imitation, and postural stability. A better understanding of these deficits and of strategies…

  5. Novel Skill Learning and Gross Motor Performance Correlates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dotson, Charles O.

    This research study determined the relative importance of various basic motor ability traits possessed by the learner in the process of acquiring neuromuscular skills. Fifty-two university students practiced two novel skills (ball toss and fli-back paddle ball) 5 days per week for 2 weeks. Prior to beginning practice, each subject was measured on…

  6. Reduced Motor Cortex Activity during Movement Preparation following a Period of Motor Skill Practice

    PubMed Central

    Wright, David J.; Holmes, Paul; Di Russo, Francesco; Loporto, Michela; Smith, Dave

    2012-01-01

    Experts in a skill produce movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) of smaller amplitude and later onset than novices. This may indicate that, following long-term training, experts require less effort to plan motor skill performance. However, no longitudinal evidence exists to support this claim. To address this, EEG was used to study the effect of motor skill training on cortical activity related to motor planning. Ten non-musicians took part in a 5-week training study learning to play guitar. At week 1, the MRCP was recorded from motor areas whilst participants played the G Major scale. Following a period of practice of the scale, the MRCP was recorded again at week 5. Results showed that the amplitude of the later pre-movement components were smaller at week 5 compared to week 1. This may indicate that, following training, less activity at motor cortex sites is involved in motor skill preparation. This supports claims for a more efficient motor preparation following motor skill training. PMID:23251647

  7. Dopamine Promotes Motor Cortex Plasticity and Motor Skill Learning via PLC Activation.

    PubMed

    Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Pekanovic, Ana; Atiemo, Clement Osei; Marshall, John; Luft, Andreas Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein kinase A (PKA), leading to distinct physiological and behavioral effects. Here we show that D1 and D2 receptor activity influences motor skill acquisition and long term synaptic potentiation via phospholipase C (PLC) activation in rat primary motor cortex. Learning a new forelimb reaching task is severely impaired in the presence of PLC, but not PKA-inhibitor. Similarly, long term potentiation in motor cortex, a mechanism involved in motor skill learning, is reduced when PLC is inhibited but remains unaffected by the PKA inhibitor. Skill learning deficits and reduced synaptic plasticity caused by dopamine antagonists are prevented by co-administration of a PLC agonist. These results provide evidence for a role of intracellular PLC signaling in motor skill learning and associated cortical synaptic plasticity, challenging the traditional view of bidirectional modulation of PKA by D1 and D2 receptors. These findings reveal a novel and important action of dopamine in motor cortex that might be a future target for selective therapeutic interventions to support learning and recovery of movement resulting from injury and disease.

  8. Rapid production of new oligodendrocytes is required in the earliest stages of motor skill learning

    PubMed Central

    McKenzie, Ian A.; Sinclair-Wilson, Alexander; Wright, Jordan L.; Fudge, Alexander D.; Emery, Ben; Li, Huiliang; Richardson, William D

    2016-01-01

    Summary We identified a novel marker of newly-forming oligodendrocytes – the ecto-enzyme Enpp6 – and used this to track oligodendrocyte differentiation in adult mice as they learned a motor skill (running on a wheel with unevenly spaced rungs). Production of Enpp6 - expressing immature oligodendrocytes was accelerated within just 2.5 hours exposure to the complex wheel in subcortical white matter and within 4 hours in motor cortex. Conditional deletion of Myelin regulatory factor (Myrf) in oligodendrocyte precursors blocked formation of new Enpp6+ oligodendrocytes and impaired learning within the same ~2-3 hour time frame. This very early requirement for oligodendrocytes suggests a direct and active role in learning, closely linked to synaptic strengthening. Running performance of normal mice continued to improve over the following week accompanied by secondary waves of oligodendrocyte precursor proliferation and differentiation. We conclude that new oligodendrocytes contribute to both early and late stages of motor skill learning. PMID:27455109

  9. Psychometric Properties of the Teacher-Reported Motor Skills Rating Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Helyn; Murrah, William M.; Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Cottone, Elizabeth A.; Grissmer, David

    2015-01-01

    Children's early motor competence is associated with social development and academic achievement. However, few studies have examined teacher reports of children's motor skills. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Motor Skills Rating Scale (MSRS), a 19-item measure of children's teacher-reported motor skills in the classroom.…

  10. A multivariable approach toward predicting dental motor skill performance.

    PubMed

    Wilson, S G; Husak, W S

    1988-08-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the potential of a multivariable approach in predicting dental motor skill performance. Variables measuring cognitive knowledge, motor abilities, educational background, and family demographics were examined. Data were obtained from 33 first-year dental students. Scaling and root planing tests were administered to each student at the beginning and end of a 14-week preclinical periodontal course. Correlations were low and no variable significantly predicted pre- or posttest scaling and root planing performance. Results are discussed in terms of the problems associated with predicting motor performance.

  11. Temporal dynamics of cerebellar and motor cortex physiological processes during motor skill learning

    PubMed Central

    Spampinato, D.; Celnik, P.

    2017-01-01

    Learning motor tasks involves distinct physiological processes in the cerebellum (CB) and primary motor cortex (M1). Previous studies have shown that motor learning results in at least two important neurophysiological changes: modulation of cerebellar output mediated in-part by long-term depression of parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse and induction of long-term plasticity (LTP) in M1, leading to transient occlusion of additional LTP-like plasticity. However, little is known about the temporal dynamics of these two physiological mechanisms during motor skill learning. Here we use non-invasive brain stimulation to explore CB and M1 mechanisms during early and late motor skill learning in humans. We predicted that early skill acquisition would be proportional to cerebellar excitability (CBI) changes, whereas later stages of learning will result in M1 LTP-like plasticity modifications. We found that early, and not late into skill training, CBI changed. Whereas, occlusion of LTP-like plasticity over M1 occurred only during late, but not early training. These findings indicate a distinct temporal dissociation in the physiological role of the CB and M1 when learning a novel skill. Understanding the role and temporal dynamics of different brain regions during motor learning is critical to device optimal interventions to augment learning. PMID:28091578

  12. Relations among motor, social, and cognitive skills in pre-kindergarten children with developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    Kim, Helyn; Carlson, Abby G; Curby, Timothy W; Winsler, Adam

    2016-01-01

    Despite the comorbidity between motor difficulties and certain disabilities, limited research has examined links between early motor, cognitive, and social skills in preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities. The present study examined the relative contributions of gross motor and fine motor skills to the prediction of improvements in children's cognitive and social skills among 2,027 pre-kindergarten children with developmental disabilities, including specific learning disorder, speech/language impairment, intellectual disability, and autism spectrum disorder. Results indicated that for pre-kindergarten children with developmental disabilities, fine motor skills, but not gross motor skills, were predictive of improvements in cognitive and social skills, even after controlling for demographic information and initial skill levels. Moreover, depending on the type of developmental disability, the pattern of prediction of gross motor and fine motor skills to improvements in children's cognitive and social skills differed. Implications are discussed.

  13. Motor skill learning and offline-changes in TGA patients with acute hippocampal CA1 lesions.

    PubMed

    Döhring, Juliane; Stoldt, Anne; Witt, Karsten; Schönfeld, Robby; Deuschl, Günther; Born, Jan; Bartsch, Thorsten

    2017-04-01

    Learning and the formation of memory are reflected in various memory systems in the human brain such as the hippocampus based declarative memory system and the striatum-cortex based system involved in motor sequence learning. It is a matter of debate how both memory systems interact in humans during learning and consolidation and how this interaction is influenced by sleep. We studied the effect of an acute dysfunction of hippocampal CA1 neurons on the acquisition (on-line condition) and off-line changes of a motor skill in patients with a transient global amnesia (TGA). Sixteen patients (68 ± 4.4 yrs) were studied in the acute phase and during follow-up using a declarative and procedural test, and were compared to controls. Acute TGA patients displayed profound deficits in all declarative memory functions. During the acute amnestic phase, patients were able to acquire the motor skill task reflected by increasing finger tapping speed across the on-line condition, albeit to a lesser degree than during follow-up or compared to controls. Retrieval two days later indicated a greater off-line gain in motor speed in patients than controls. Moreover, this gain in motor skill performance was negatively correlated to the declarative learning deficit. Our results suggest a differential interaction between procedural and declarative memory systems during acquisition and consolidation of motor sequences in older humans. During acquisition, hippocampal dysfunction attenuates fast learning and thus unmasks the slow and rigid learning curve of striatum-based procedural learning. The stronger gains in the post-consolidation condition in motor skill in CA1 lesioned patients indicate a facilitated consolidation process probably occurring during sleep, and suggest a competitive interaction between the memory systems. These findings might be a reflection of network reorganization and plasticity in older humans and in the presence of CA1 hippocampal pathology.

  14. Toy Story: Illustrating Gender Differences in a Motor Skills Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Jennifer L.; Hebl, Michelle R.; Mendoza, Miriam

    2004-01-01

    To challenge students' stereotypes about gendered performance on motor skills tasks, we developed a classroom active learning demonstration. Four 3-person, same-gender teams received either a Barbie(r) doll or a Transformer(r), and team members dressed the Barbie or manipulated the Transformer from a tank to a robot as quickly as possible, with…

  15. Sleep-Dependent Learning and Motor-Skill Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuriyama, Kenichi; Stickgold, Robert; Walker, Matthew P.

    2004-01-01

    Learning of a procedural motor-skill task is known to progress through a series of unique memory stages. Performance initially improves during training, and continues to improve, without further rehearsal, across subsequent periods of sleep. Here, we investigate how this delayed sleep-dependent learning is affected when the task characteristics…

  16. Preliminary Validation of the Motor Skills Rating Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Claire E.; Chen, Wei-Bing; Blodgett, Julia; Cottone, Elizabeth A.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Brock, Laura L.; Grissmer, David

    2012-01-01

    This study examined psychometric properties of the Motor Skills Rating Scale (MSRS), a questionnaire designed for classroom teachers of children in early elementary school. Items were developed with the guidance of two occupational therapists, and factor structure was examined with an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The resulting model showed…

  17. Improving Fine Motor Skills in Young Children: An Intervention Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Carol G.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the Primary Movement programme on the fine motor skills of children in an early years setting in an area of high social disadvantage. Primary Movement is a programme which can be used as an early intervention technique to help children inhibit persistent primary reflexes that have been shown to…

  18. Interference effects between manual and oral motor skills.

    PubMed

    Gagné, Marie-Hélène; Cohen, Henri

    2016-03-01

    Consolidation of a motor skill is characterized by spontaneous improvement in performance between practice sessions. These offline gains can be eliminated if another skill is introduced soon afterward-a phenomenon called retroactive interference. Interference effects have been found in studies using two similar tasks involving the same motor effectors in a manual mode. The present study aimed to determine the extent to which differences in motor production mode modulate interference in skill learning. Healthy participants were assigned to one of three conditions and trained on a finger opposition sequence (FOS) learning task. All subjects were tested 24 h later on the original FOS learning task. Control subjects who were not exposed to a secondary learning task exhibited the expected offline gains after 24 h. Subjects who immediately learned a secondary task after the FOS training, either in the same manual mode (French Sign Language) or in an oral mode (CVC syllables), did not show any offline gains. Interestingly, the amount of interference was equivalent in the manual and oral learning conditions. The results reveal that interference effects in motor skill learning can occur when different effectors are involved in the primary and secondary tasks. The sequence processing abilities of the basal ganglia appear to play a major role in these interference effects.

  19. The Dynamic Association between Motor Skill Development and Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stodden, David F.; Goodway, Jacqueline D.

    2007-01-01

    Although significant attention has been given to promoting physical activity among children, little attention has been given to the developmental process of how children learn to move or to the changing role that motor skill development plays in children's physical activity levels as they grow. In order to successfully address the obesity…

  20. Protein Synthesis Inhibition Blocks Consolidation of an Acrobatic Motor Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaelin-Lang, Alain; Dichgans, Johannes; Schulz, Jorg B.; Luft, Andreas R.; Buitrago, Manuel M.

    2004-01-01

    To investigate whether motor skill learning depends on de novo protein synthesis, adult rats were trained in an acrobatic locomotor task (accelerating rotarod) for 7 d. Animals were systemically injected with cycloheximide (CHX, 0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) 1 h before sessions 1 and 2 or sessions 2 and 3. Control rats received vehicle injections before…

  1. Early Boost and Slow Consolidation in Motor Skill Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hotermans, Christophe; Peigneux, Philippe; de Noordhout, Alain Maertens; Moonen, Gustave; Maquet, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    Motor skill learning is a dynamic process that continues covertly after training has ended and eventually leads to delayed increments in performance. Current theories suggest that this off-line improvement takes time and appears only after several hours. Here we show an early transient and short-lived boost in performance, emerging as early as…

  2. Recreational Activities and Motor Skills of Children in Kindergarten

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Temple, Viviene A.; Crane, Jeff R.; Brown, Amy; Williams, Buffy-Lynne; Bell, Rick I.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Developmental theorists suggest that physical activity during early childhood promotes fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency; and that differences in FMS proficiency are largely related to children's experiences. Aim: To examine associations between participation in different types of recreation/leisure and FMS proficiency of boys…

  3. Deep Breathing Practice Facilitates Retention of Newly Learned Motor Skills.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Goldy; Mutha, Pratik K

    2016-11-14

    Paced deep breathing practices, a core component of a number of meditation programs, have been shown to enhance a variety of cognitive functions. However, their effects on complex processes such as memory, and in particular, formation and retention of motor memories, remain unknown. Here we show that a 30-minute session of deep, alternate-nostril breathing remarkably enhances retention of a newly learned motor skill. Healthy humans learned to accurately trace a given path within a fixed time duration. Following learning, one group of subjects (n = 16) underwent the 30-minute breathing practice while another control group (n = 14) rested for the same duration. The breathing-practice group retained the motor skill strikingly better than controls, both immediately after the breathing session and also at 24 hours. These effects were confirmed in another group (n = 10) that rested for 30 minutes post-learning, but practiced breathing after their first retention test; these subjects showed significantly better retention at 24 hours but not 30 minutes. Our results thus uncover for the first time the remarkable facilitatory effects of simple breathing practices on complex functions such as motor memory, and have important implications for sports training and neuromotor rehabilitation in which better retention of learned motor skills is highly desirable.

  4. Deep Breathing Practice Facilitates Retention of Newly Learned Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Goldy; Mutha, Pratik K.

    2016-01-01

    Paced deep breathing practices, a core component of a number of meditation programs, have been shown to enhance a variety of cognitive functions. However, their effects on complex processes such as memory, and in particular, formation and retention of motor memories, remain unknown. Here we show that a 30-minute session of deep, alternate-nostril breathing remarkably enhances retention of a newly learned motor skill. Healthy humans learned to accurately trace a given path within a fixed time duration. Following learning, one group of subjects (n = 16) underwent the 30-minute breathing practice while another control group (n = 14) rested for the same duration. The breathing-practice group retained the motor skill strikingly better than controls, both immediately after the breathing session and also at 24 hours. These effects were confirmed in another group (n = 10) that rested for 30 minutes post-learning, but practiced breathing after their first retention test; these subjects showed significantly better retention at 24 hours but not 30 minutes. Our results thus uncover for the first time the remarkable facilitatory effects of simple breathing practices on complex functions such as motor memory, and have important implications for sports training and neuromotor rehabilitation in which better retention of learned motor skills is highly desirable. PMID:27841345

  5. Motor skill learning, retention, and control deficits in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Pendt, Lisa Katharina; Reuter, Iris; Müller, Hermann

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease, which affects the basal ganglia, is known to lead to various impairments of motor control. Since the basal ganglia have also been shown to be involved in learning processes, motor learning has frequently been investigated in this group of patients. However, results are still inconsistent, mainly due to skill levels and time scales of testing. To bridge across the time scale problem, the present study examined de novo skill learning over a long series of practice sessions that comprised early and late learning stages as well as retention. 19 non-demented, medicated, mild to moderate patients with Parkinson's disease and 19 healthy age and gender matched participants practiced a novel throwing task over five days in a virtual environment where timing of release was a critical element. Six patients and seven control participants came to an additional long-term retention testing after seven to nine months. Changes in task performance were analyzed by a method that differentiates between three components of motor learning prominent in different stages of learning: Tolerance, Noise and Covariation. In addition, kinematic analysis related the influence of skill levels as affected by the specific motor control deficits in Parkinson patients to the process of learning. As a result, patients showed similar learning in early and late stages compared to the control subjects. Differences occurred in short-term retention tests; patients' performance constantly decreased after breaks arising from poorer release timing. However, patients were able to overcome the initial timing problems within the course of each practice session and could further improve their throwing performance. Thus, results demonstrate the intact ability to learn a novel motor skill in non-demented, medicated patients with Parkinson's disease and indicate confounding effects of motor control deficits on retention performance.

  6. Perceiving Affordances for Different Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Whitney G.; Chan, Gladys L. Y.; Vereijken, Beatrix; Adolph, Karen E.

    2013-01-01

    We examined several factors that affect people’s ability to perceive possibilities for action. In Experiment 1, 24 participants crossed expanses of various sizes in three conditions: leaping, a familiar, launching action system; arm-swinging on monkey bars, an unpracticed skill that uses the arms rather than the legs; and crawling on hands and knees, a disused skill that involves all four limbs. Before and after performing each action, participants gave verbal judgments about the largest gap they could cross. Participants scaled initial judgments to their actual abilities in all three conditions. But they considerably underestimated their abilities for leaping, a launching action, and for arm-swinging when it was performed as a launching action; judgments about crawling, a non-launching action, and arm-swinging when it was performed as a non-launching action were more accurate. Thus, launching actions appear to produce a deficit in perceiving affordances that is not ameliorated by familiarity with the action. However, after performing the actions, participants partially corrected for the deficiency and more accurately judged their abilities for launching actions—suggesting that even brief action experience facilitates the perception of affordances. In Experiment 2, we confirmed that the deficit was due to the launching nature of the leaping and arm-swinging actions in Experiment 1. We asked an additional 12 participants to cross expanses using two non-launching actions using the legs (stepping across an expanse) and the arms (reaching across an expanse). Participants were highly accurate when judging affordances for these actions, supporting launching as the cause of the underestimation reported in Experiment 1. PMID:23411672

  7. Brainstem White Matter Predicts Individual Differences in Manual Motor Difficulties and Symptom Severity in Autism

    PubMed Central

    Travers, Brittany G.; Bigler, Erin D.; Tromp, Do P. M.; Adluru, Nagesh; Destiche, Dan; Samsin, Danica; Froehlich, Alyson; Prigge, Molly D. B.; Duffield, Tyler; Lange, Nicholas; Alexander, Andrew L.; Lainhart, Janet E.

    2015-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that poorer motor skills may be related to more severe autism symptoms. This study investigated if atypical white matter microstructure in the brain mediated the relationship between motor skills and ASD symptom severity. Sixty-seven males with ASD and 42 males with typical development (5-33 years old) completed a diffusion tensor imaging scan and measures of grip strength, finger tapping, and autism symptom severity. Within the ASD group, weaker grip strength predicted more severe autism symptoms. Fractional anisotropy of the brainstem's corticospinal tract predicted both grip strength and autism symptom severity and mediated the relationship between the two. These findings suggest that brainstem white matter may contribute to autism symptoms and grip strength in ASD. PMID:26001365

  8. Practice Schedule and the Learning of Motor Skills in Children and Adults: Teaching Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zipp, Genevieve Pinto; Gentile, A. M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how motor skills are learned influences how one teaches effective motor skill attainment. Educators must ask, "Does repetitive practice of the same task make for better performance or does contextual variability (random practice) offer some benefit when learning motor skills?" Studies on the effects of Contextual Interference may…

  9. Why Do Fine Motor Skills Predict Mathematics? Construct Validity of the Design Copying Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murrah, William M.; Chen, Wei-Bing; Cameron, Claire E.

    2013-01-01

    Recent educational studies have found evidence that measures of fine motor skills are predictive of educational outcomes. However, the precise nature of fine motor skills has received little attention in these studies. With evidence mounting that fine motor skills are an important indicator of school readiness, investigating the nature of this…

  10. Development of Young Adults' Fine Motor Skills when Learning to Play Percussion Instruments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gzibovskis, Talis; Marnauza, Mara

    2012-01-01

    When playing percussion instruments, the main activity is done with the help of a motion or motor skills; to perform it, developed fine motor skills are necessary: the speed and precision of fingers, hands and palms. The aim of the research was to study and test the development of young adults' fine motor skills while learning to play percussion…

  11. Key Principles of Open Motor-Skill Training for Peak Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Motor-skill training is an imperative element contributing to overall sport performance. In order to help coaches, athletes and practitioners to capture the characteristics of motor skills, sport scientists have divided motor skills into different categories, such as open versus closed, serial or discrete, outcome- or process-oriented, and…

  12. Short Term Motor-Skill Acquisition Improves with Size of Self-Controlled Virtual Hands

    PubMed Central

    Ossmy, Ori; Mukamel, Roy

    2017-01-01

    Visual feedback in general, and from the body in particular, is known to influence the performance of motor skills in humans. However, it is unclear how the acquisition of motor skills depends on specific visual feedback parameters such as the size of performing effector. Here, 21 healthy subjects physically trained to perform sequences of finger movements with their right hand. Through the use of 3D Virtual Reality devices, visual feedback during training consisted of virtual hands presented on the screen, tracking subject’s hand movements in real time. Importantly, the setup allowed us to manipulate the size of the displayed virtual hands across experimental conditions. We found that performance gains increase with the size of virtual hands. In contrast, when subjects trained by mere observation (i.e., in the absence of physical movement), manipulating the size of the virtual hand did not significantly affect subsequent performance gains. These results demonstrate that when it comes to short-term motor skill learning, the size of visual feedback matters. Furthermore, these results suggest that highest performance gains in individual subjects are achieved when the size of the virtual hand matches their real hand size. These results may have implications for optimizing motor training schemes. PMID:28056023

  13. Motor skills and calibrated autism severity in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Megan; Lord, Catherine; Ulrich, Dale A

    2014-04-01

    In addition to the core characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), motor skill deficits are present, persistent, and pervasive across age. Although motor skill deficits have been indicated in young children with autism, they have not been included in the primary discussion of early intervention content. One hundred fifty-nine young children with a confirmed diagnosis of ASD (n = 110), PDD-NOS (n = 26), and non-ASD (n = 23) between the ages of 14-33 months participated in this study.1 The univariate general linear model tested the relationship of fine and gross motor skills and social communicative skills (using calibrated autism severity scores). Fine motor and gross motor skills significantly predicted calibrated autism severity (p < .05). Children with weaker motor skills have greater social communicative skill deficits. Future directions and the role of motor skills in early intervention are discussed.

  14. Reinforcement learning of motor skills with policy gradients.

    PubMed

    Peters, Jan; Schaal, Stefan

    2008-05-01

    Autonomous learning is one of the hallmarks of human and animal behavior, and understanding the principles of learning will be crucial in order to achieve true autonomy in advanced machines like humanoid robots. In this paper, we examine learning of complex motor skills with human-like limbs. While supervised learning can offer useful tools for bootstrapping behavior, e.g., by learning from demonstration, it is only reinforcement learning that offers a general approach to the final trial-and-error improvement that is needed by each individual acquiring a skill. Neither neurobiological nor machine learning studies have, so far, offered compelling results on how reinforcement learning can be scaled to the high-dimensional continuous state and action spaces of humans or humanoids. Here, we combine two recent research developments on learning motor control in order to achieve this scaling. First, we interpret the idea of modular motor control by means of motor primitives as a suitable way to generate parameterized control policies for reinforcement learning. Second, we combine motor primitives with the theory of stochastic policy gradient learning, which currently seems to be the only feasible framework for reinforcement learning for humanoids. We evaluate different policy gradient methods with a focus on their applicability to parameterized motor primitives. We compare these algorithms in the context of motor primitive learning, and show that our most modern algorithm, the Episodic Natural Actor-Critic outperforms previous algorithms by at least an order of magnitude. We demonstrate the efficiency of this reinforcement learning method in the application of learning to hit a baseball with an anthropomorphic robot arm.

  15. High-intensity Interval Exercise Promotes Motor Cortex Disinhibition and Early Motor Skill Consolidation.

    PubMed

    Stavrinos, Ellen L; Coxon, James P

    2017-04-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibition shapes motor cortex output, gates synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation, and plays an important role in motor learning. Remarkably, recent studies have shown that acute cardiovascular exercise can improve motor memory, but the cortical mechanisms are not completely understood. We investigated whether an acute bout of lower-limb high-intensity interval (HIT) exercise could promote motor memory formation in humans through changes in cortical inhibition within the hand region of the primary motor cortex. We used TMS to assess the input-output relationship, along with inhibition involving GABAA and GABAB receptors. Measures were obtained before and after a 20-min session of HIT cycling (exercise group) or rest (control group). We then had the same participants learn a new visuomotor skill and perform a retention test 5 hr later in the absence of sleep. No differences were found in corticomotor excitability or GABAB inhibition; however, synaptic GABAA inhibition was significantly reduced for the exercise group but not the control group. HIT exercise was found to enhance motor skill consolidation. These findings link modification of GABA to improved motor memory consolidation after HIT exercise and suggest that the beneficial effects of exercise on consolidation might not be dependent on sleep.

  16. Hemispheric asymmetry of ipsilateral motor cortex activation in motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomotaka; Higashi, Toshio; Takagi, Mineko; Sugawara, Kenichi

    2013-09-11

    In this study, we investigated how ipsilateral motor cortex (M1) activation during unimanual hand movements and hemispheric asymmetry changed after motor skill learning. Eleven right-handed participants preformed a two-ball-rotation motor task with the right and the left hand, separately, in all experimental sessions. Before and after exercise sessions, the degree of ipsilateral M1 activation during brief execution of the motor task was measured as changes in the size of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) of the thenar and the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the nontask hand using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Before exercise, MEPs of the nontask hand were significantly facilitated on both sides during the motor task. After exercise, facilitation of MEPs of the nontask hand during the motor task was significantly reduced for the right hand (thenar: P=0.014, first dorsal interosseous: P=0.022) but not for the left hand. We conclude that ipsilateral M1 activation, associated with a complex motor task, is first symmetrical in both hemispheres. However, on exercise, ipsilateral activation is reduced only in left M1, indicating a stronger learning-dependent modification of motor networks within the left hemisphere.

  17. Perspectives on Learning Styles in Motor and Sport Skills

    PubMed Central

    Fuelscher, Ian Tobias; Ball, Kevin; MacMahon, Clare

    2011-01-01

    We present the perspective that while coaches and instructors commonly adapt learning styles to maximize training outcomes, there has been little to no empirical support for the efficacy of this practice. Learning styles is a learner’s preferred mode (e.g., visual, verbal) of taking in and processing new information. Although it is a relevant topic for the learning of motor and sport skills, few studies have used an appropriate methodology to test the effectiveness of learning style-based instruction. We highlight the need for a learning style assessment tool specific to motor skills and call for a test of the learning style hypothesis, the claim that learners will benefit from instruction that is tailored to their individual learning style. To this end, we suggest methodological guidelines. PMID:22416240

  18. Perspectives on learning styles in motor and sport skills.

    PubMed

    Fuelscher, Ian Tobias; Ball, Kevin; Macmahon, Clare

    2012-01-01

    We present the perspective that while coaches and instructors commonly adapt learning styles to maximize training outcomes, there has been little to no empirical support for the efficacy of this practice. Learning styles is a learner's preferred mode (e.g., visual, verbal) of taking in and processing new information. Although it is a relevant topic for the learning of motor and sport skills, few studies have used an appropriate methodology to test the effectiveness of learning style-based instruction. We highlight the need for a learning style assessment tool specific to motor skills and call for a test of the learning style hypothesis, the claim that learners will benefit from instruction that is tailored to their individual learning style. To this end, we suggest methodological guidelines.

  19. Transfer of Movement Control in Motor Skill Learning

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-04-01

    to modification. Another example involves second-ianguage learners. Speech production (not grammar or vocabulary) can be thought of as another example...of a complex motor skill involving many muscles and articulators. We all know that difficulties in producing particular speech sounds in, say, English ...of a given task. But this 3oair n ict the diffilcu’ties in deciding when a change in conditions is to be conisiulered veeenough for it to be regarded

  20. Robot Guided 'Pen Skill' Training in Children with Motor Difficulties.

    PubMed

    Shire, Katy A; Hill, Liam J B; Snapp-Childs, Winona; Bingham, Geoffrey P; Kountouriotis, Georgios K; Barber, Sally; Mon-Williams, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Motor deficits are linked to a range of negative physical, social and academic consequences. Haptic robotic interventions, based on the principles of sensorimotor learning, have been shown previously to help children with motor problems learn new movements. We therefore examined whether the training benefits of a robotic system would generalise to a standardised test of 'pen-skills', assessed using objective kinematic measures [via the Clinical Kinematic Assessment Tool, CKAT]. A counterbalanced, cross-over design was used in a group of 51 children (37 male, aged 5-11 years) with manual control difficulties. Improved performance on a novel task using the robotic device could be attributed to the intervention but there was no evidence of generalisation to any of the CKAT tasks. The robotic system appears to have the potential to support motor learning, with the technology affording numerous advantages. However, the training regime may need to target particular manual skills (e.g. letter formation) in order to obtain clinically significant improvements in specific skills such as handwriting.

  1. Skilled forelimb movements and internal copy motor circuits.

    PubMed

    Azim, Eiman; Alstermark, Bror

    2015-08-01

    Mammalian skilled forelimb movements are remarkable in their precision, a feature that emerges from the continuous adjustment of motor output. Here we discuss recent progress in bridging the gap between theory and neural implementation in understanding the basis of forelimb motor refinement. One influential theory is that feedback from internal copy motor pathways enables fast prediction, through a forward model of the limb, an idea supported by behavioral studies that have explored how forelimb movements are corrected online and can adapt to changing conditions. In parallel, neural substrates of forelimb internal copy pathways are coming into clearer focus, in part through the use of genetically tractable animal models to isolate spinal and cerebellar circuits and explore their contributions to movement.

  2. Simulating a Skilled Typist: A Study of Skilled Cognitive Motor Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rumelhart, David E.; Norman, Donald A.

    A project studied the problem of control of skilled motor movements by concentrating on typing. The fundamental phenomena of typing, which fall into three categories, were reviewed: timing of key strokes, pattern of errors, and general organization of typing. A model for the simulation of these phenomena was developed, based on an…

  3. Coordination Motor Skills of Military Pilots Subjected to Survival Training.

    PubMed

    Tomczak, Andrzej

    2015-09-01

    Survival training of military pilots in the Polish Army gains significance because polish pilots have taken part in more and more military missions. Prolonged exercise of moderate intensity with restricted sleep or sleep deprivation is known to deteriorate performance. The aim of the study was thus to determine the effects of a strenuous 36-hour exercise with restricted sleep on selected motor coordination and psychomotor indices. Thirteen military pilots aged 30-56 years were examined twice: pretraining and posttraining. The following tests were applied: running motor adjustment (15-m sprint, 3 × 5-m shuttle run, 15-m slalom, and 15-m squat), divided attention, dynamic body balance, handgrip strength differentiation. Survival training resulted in significant decreases in maximum handgrip strength (from 672 to 630 N), corrected 50% max handgrip (from 427 to 367 N), error 50% max (from 26 to 17%), 15-m sprint (from 5.01 to 4.64 m·s), and 15-m squat (2.20 to 1.98 m·s). The training improvements took place in divided attention test (from 48.2 to 57.2%). The survival training applied to pilots only moderately affected some of their motor adjustment skills, the divided attention, and dynamic body balance remaining unaffected or even improved. Further studies aimed at designing a set of tests for coordination motor skills and of soldiers' capacity to fight for survival under conditions of isolation are needed.

  4. Central neuronal motor behaviour in skilled and less skilled novices - Approaching sports-specific movement techniques.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Tobias; Kato, Kouki; Schneider, Stefan; Türk, Stefan; Kanosue, Kazuyuki

    2017-02-14

    Research on motor behavioural processes preceding voluntary movements often refers to analysing the readiness potential (RP). For this, decades of studies used laboratory setups with controlled sports-related actions. Further, recent applied approaches focus on athlete-non-athlete comparisons, omitting possible effects of training history on RP. However, RP preceding real sport-specific movements in accordance to skill acquisition remains to be elucidated. Therefore, after familiarization 16 right-handed males with no experience in archery volunteered to perform repeated sports-specific movements, i.e. 40 arrow-releasing shots at 60s rest on a 15m distant standard target. Continuous, synchronised EEG and right limb EMG recordings during arrow-releasing served to detect movement onsets for RP analyses over distinct cortical motor areas. Based on attained scores on target, archery novices were, a posteriori, subdivided into a skilled and less skilled group. EMG results for mean values revealed no significant changes (all p>0.05), whereas RP amplitudes and onsets differed between groups but not between motor areas. Arrow-releasing preceded larger RP amplitudes (p<0.05) and later RP onsets (p<0.05) in skilled compared to less skilled novices. We suggest this to reflect attentional orienting and greater effort that accompanies central neuronal preparatory states of a sports-specific movement.

  5. Cognitive processing and motor skill learning in motor-handicapped teenagers: effects of learning method.

    PubMed

    Deviterne, Dominique; Gauchard, Gerome C; Lavisse, Dominique; Perrin, Philippe P

    2007-12-01

    This study aimed to assess the efficiency of a motor skill learning method intended to promote learning course personalization through an increase in cognitive processing deployment in motor-handicapped persons. Thirty-three secondary school students volunteered to participate in an archery motor skill learning session, 11 motor-handicapped (MH(1)) and 11 able-bodied (AB) teenagers following a standard learning method, and 11 motor-handicapped teenagers following a cognitive enriched learning method (MH(2)) based on the use of an individually written and illustrated document. The results showed that MH(1) displayed lower performances than AB, both in terms of the mental representations of the movements expected and performed and of efficiency of the movement. On the other hand, MH(2) performances were higher than MH(1) for all these parameters, and similar to those of AB at the end of the learning session. Personalization of the learning course allowed optimization of the learning potential in motor-handicapped teenagers to resolve the difficulties inherent to their handicap.

  6. A Field-Based Testing Protocol for Assessing Gross Motor Skills in Preschool Children: The CHAMPS Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Harriet G.; Pfeiffer, Karin A.; Dowda, Marsha; Jeter, Chevy; Jones, Shaverra; Pate, Russell R.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to develop a valid and reliable tool for use in assessing motor skills in preschool children in field based settings. The development of the CHAMPS (Children’s Activity and Movement in Preschool Study) Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP) included evidence of its reliability and validity for use in field-based environments as part of large epidemiological studies. Following pilot work, 297 children (3-5 years old) from 22 preschools were tested using the final version of the CMSP and the TGMD-2. Reliability of the CMSP and interobserver reliability were determined using intraclass correlation procedures (ICC; ANOVA). Concurrent validity was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients to compare the CMSP to the original Test of Gross Motor Development (2nd Edition) (TGMD-2). Results indicated that test reliability, interobserver reliability and validity coefficients were all high, generally above R/r = 0.90. Significant age differences were found. Outcomes indicate that the CMSP is an appropriate tool for assessing motor development of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children in field-based settings that are consistent with large-scale trials. PMID:21532999

  7. Are Motor Skills and Motor Inhibitions Impaired in Tourette Syndrome? A Review

    PubMed Central

    Kalsi, Navkiran; Tambelli, Renata; Aceto, Paola; Lai, Carlo

    2015-01-01

    Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental motor disorder described as an inability to inhibit unwanted motor movements. This article reviews research on the execution and inhibition of voluntary motor movements in TS. Over last two decades, a number of studies have addressed the structural and functional deficits associated with this syndrome. Only a limited number of studies have assessed the motor skills in these patients but have failed to reach any conclusive outcome. In the domain of response inhibition also, studies have reported arguable impairments in these patients. It is suggested that these conflicting results can be attributed to co-occurring comorbid conditions, the constraints posed by variable age groups, lack of control measures, and lack of specificity of domains addressed. This review will describe a way in which future research can be directed to increase our knowledge of this otherwise complex spectrum of disorders. PMID:26279630

  8. The relationship of motor skills and social communicative skills in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Megan; Lord, Catherine; Ulrich, Dale A

    2013-07-01

    Motor skill deficits are present and persist in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; Staples & Reid, 2010). Yet the focus of intervention is on core impairments, which are part of the diagnostic criteria for ASD, deficits in social communication skills. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the functional motor skills, of 6- to 15-year-old children with high-functioning ASD, predict success in standardized social communicative skills. It is hypothesized that children with better motor skills will have better social communicative skills. A total of 35 children with ASD between the ages of 6-15 years participated in this study. The univariate GLM (general linear model) tested the relationship of motor skills on social communicative skills holding constant age, IQ, ethnicity, gender, and clinical ASD diagnosis. Object-control motor skills significantly predicted calibrated ASD severity (p < .05). Children with weaker motor skills have greater social communicative skill deficits. How this relationship exists behaviorally, needs to be explored further.

  9. A Field-Based Testing Protocol for Assessing Gross Motor Skills in Preschool Children: The Children's Activity and Movement in Preschool Study Motor Skills Protocol

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Harriet G.; Pfeiffer, Karin A.; Dowda, Marsha; Jeter, Chevy; Jones, Shaverra; Pate, Russell R.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable tool for use in assessing motor skills in preschool children in field-based settings. The development of the Children's Activity and Movement in Preschool Study Motor Skills Protocol included evidence of its reliability and validity for use in field-based environments as part of large…

  10. Motor skills in kindergarten: Internal structure, cognitive correlates and relationships to background variables.

    PubMed

    Oberer, Nicole; Gashaj, Venera; Roebers, Claudia M

    2017-04-01

    The present study aimed to contribute to the discussion about the relation between motor coordination and executive functions in preschool children. Specifically, the relation between gross and fine motor skills and executive functions as well as the relation to possible background variables (SES, physical activity) were investigated. Based on the data of N=156 kindergarten children the internal structure of motor skills was investigated and confirmed the theoretically assumed subdivision of gross and fine motor skills. Both, gross and fine motor skills correlated significantly with executive functions, whereas the background variables seemed to have no significant impact on the executive functions and motor skills. Higher order control processes are discussed as an explanation of the relation between executive functions and motor skills.

  11. Neonatal Stroke Causes Poor Midline Motor Behaviors and Poor Fine and Gross Motor Skills during Early Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Chao-Ying; Lo, Warren D.; Heathcock, Jill C.

    2013-01-01

    Upper extremity movements, midline behaviors, fine, and gross motor skills are frequently impaired in hemiparesis and cerebral palsy. We investigated midline toy exploration and fine and gross motor skills in infants at risk for hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Eight infants with neonatal stroke (NS) and thirteen infants with typical development (TD)…

  12. Improving a Bimanual Motor Skill Through Unimanual Training

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Takuji; Nozaki, Daichi

    2016-01-01

    When we learn a bimanual motor skill (e.g., rowing a boat), we often break it down into unimanual practices (e.g., a rowing drill with the left or right arm). Such unimanual practice is thought to be useful for learning bimanual motor skills efficiently because the learner can concentrate on learning to perform a simpler component. However, it is not so straightforward to assume that unimanual training (UT) improves bimanual performance. We have previously demonstrated that motor memories for reaching movements consist of three different parts: unimanual-specific, bimanual-specific, and overlapping parts. According to this scheme, UT appears to be less effective, as its training effect is only partially transferred to the same limb for bimanual movement. In the present study, counter-intuitively, we demonstrate that, even after the bimanual skill is almost fully learned by means of bimanual training (BT), additional UT could further improve bimanual skill. We hypothesized that this effect occurs because UT increases the memory content in the overlapping part, which might contribute to an increase in the memory for bimanual movement. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether the UT performed after sufficient BT could improve the bimanual performance. Participants practiced performing bimanual reaching movements (BM) in the presence of a novel force-field imposed only on their left arm. As an index for the motor performance, we used the error-clamp method (i.e., after-effect of the left arm) to evaluate the force output to compensate for the force-field during the reaching movement. After sufficient BT, the training effect reached a plateau. However, UT performed subsequently improved the bimanual performance significantly. In contrast, when the same amount of BT was continued, the bimanual performance remained unchanged, highlighting the beneficial effect of UT on bimanual performance. Considering memory structure, we also expected that BT could improve unimanual

  13. The Relationship between Gross Motor Skills and Academic Achievement in Children with Learning Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared the gross motor skills of 7- to 12-year-old children with learning disabilities (n = 104) with those of age-matched typically developing children (n = 104) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Additionally, the specific relationships between subsets of gross motor skills and academic performance in reading,…

  14. Cognitive and Developmental Influences in Visual-Motor Integration Skills in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Decker, Scott L.; Englund, Julia A.; Carboni, Jessica A.; Brooks, Janell H.

    2011-01-01

    Measures of visual-motor integration skills continue to be widely used in psychological assessments with children. However, the construct validity of many visual-motor integration measures remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the relative contributions of maturation and cognitive skills to the development of visual-motor integration…

  15. Responsiveness of the Test of Basic Motor Skills of Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van den Heuvel, Marieke E.; de Jong, Inge; Lauteslager, Peter E. M.; Volman, M. J. M.

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the responsiveness of the Test of Basic Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome (BMS). Forty-one children with Down Syndrome, 3 to 36 months of age, participated in the study. Gross motor skills were assessed three times using the BMS and the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) before and after a baseline…

  16. Role of Early Parenting and Motor Skills on Development in Children with Spina Bifida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lomax-Bream, Laura E.; Taylor, Heather B.; Landry, Susan H.; Barnes, Marcia A.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Swank, Paul

    2007-01-01

    The impact of parenting and motor skills on the development of cognitive, language, and daily living skills was examined in 165 children (91 with spina bifida, SB), from 6-36 months of age. Motor scores significantly influenced cognitive, language, and daily living skills. Higher quality parenting was associated with higher levels of development…

  17. Children with low motor ability have lower visual-motor integration ability but unaffected perceptual skills.

    PubMed

    Bonifacci, Paola

    2004-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine perceptual, visual-motor abilities and intellectual skills in children with low, average and above average motor abilities. The participants were 144 children (aged 6-10 years) attending elementary school. Three groups of children were identified on the basis of their performance at the TGMD (Test of Gross Motor Development; [Ulrich, D.A. (1985). TGMD, Test of Gross Motor Development. Austin, Texas: PRO-ED. Edizione Italiana a cura di D. Ianes, TEST TGM. Test di valutazione delle abilita grosso-motorie. 1994, Trento: Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson]). Each child received an intelligence test (K-BIT; [Kaufman, A.S., & Kaufman, N.L. (1990). K-BIT. Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service]) and was evaluated for perceptual and visual-motor integration abilities (DTVP; [Hammill, D.D., Pearson, N.A., & Voress, J.K. (1993). Developmental Test of Visual Perception (2nd ed.). Austin, Texas: PRO-ED. Edizione Italiana a cura di D. Ianes, TEST TPV. Test di percezione visiva e integrazione visuo-motoria. Trento: Edizioni Centro Studi Erickson]). Results highlight a significant difference in visual-motor integration between children with high and low gross-motor abilities, in the absence of significant differences in perceptual skills or intellectual ability. The findings are discussed with reference to the concept of atypical brain development [Gilger, J.W., & Kaplan, B.J. (2001). Atypical brain development: A conceptual framework for understanding developmental learning disabilities. Developmental Neuropsychology, 20, 465].

  18. Screening preschool children for fine motor skills: environmental influence

    PubMed Central

    Comuk-Balci, Nilay; Bayoglu, Birgul; Tekindal, Agah; Kerem-Gunel, Mintaze; Anlar, Banu

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of gender and family factors on performance in the fine motor domain of the Denver II developmental screening test. [Subjects and Methods] Data were obtained from 2038 healthy children, 999 boys (49%) and 1039 girls (51%) in four age groups: 0–24 months (57%), 25–40 months (21.1%), 41–56 months (10.4%), and 57–82 months (11.5%). [Results] Female gender, higher maternal age, especially in children older than 24 months, and higher maternal education were associated with earlier accomplishment of fine motor items. Higher socioeconomic status was correlated with fine motor skills more noticeably at young ages. [Conclusion] The results of this study support the role of environmental factors in the interpretation of fine motor test results and point to target groups for intervention, such as infants in the low socioeconomic group and preschool children of less educated mothers. Studies in different populations may reveal particular patterns that affect child development. PMID:27134406

  19. Resting state interhemispheric motor connectivity and white matter integrity correlate with motor impairment in chronic stroke.

    PubMed

    Chen, Joyce L; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2013-01-01

    Functional and structural reorganization in the brain occurs after stroke. The ability to predict motor outcomes may depend on patterns of brain functional and structural connectivity. We tested the hypothesis that alterations in motor transcallosal and corticospinal connections correlate with motor impairment in patients with chronic stroke. Eleven ischemic stroke patients underwent the Upper Extremity Fugl-Meyer (UE-FM) assessment, resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Twelve healthy control subjects underwent DTI. We assessed the temporal coupling in neural activity between interhemispheric motor cortex, and white matter integrity by means of fractional anisotropy (FA), in the transcallosal motor fibers and corticospinal tract. Partial correlation analyses were performed to determine whether these connectivity measures correlate with Upper UE-FM scores. Patients compared to controls had reduced FA in common voxels of transcallosal motor and ipsilesional corticospinal fibers. Within the patient group those with higher interhemispheric motor cortex connectivity and higher FA in the transcallosal motor fibers were less impaired. The results show that markers of functional and structural motor cortex connectivity correlate with motor impairment in the chronic stage of stroke.

  20. [Motor asymmetry and learning new skills in animals].

    PubMed

    Budilin, S Iu; Pletneva, E V; Ioffe, M E; Arsen'ev, G N

    2014-01-01

    The aim was to examine the relationship between the ability to learn new motor skills and preference to the right or left front paw when performing manipulation movements in rats. As a new skill used the Morris water maze, in which the animals are initially trained to detect platform hidden under water at the swim of the sector of the opposite platform, and then when sailing from sectors on the left or the right of the platform. Preference paw was determined by using the taking of animal food from a narrow horizontal tube and, accordingly, the rats were divided into left-handedness and right-handedness. We found that when changing the place of launch, that is the first voyage from the left or right of the sector, are right-handed, unlike left-handed, spent significantly more time to find the platform.

  1. Dopamine in Motor Cortex Is Necessary for Skill Learning and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Luna, Katiuska; Pekanovic, Ana; Röhrich, Sebastian; Hertler, Benjamin; Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Luft, Andreas R.

    2009-01-01

    Preliminary evidence indicates that dopamine given by mouth facilitates the learning of motor skills and improves the recovery of movement after stroke. The mechanism of these phenomena is unknown. Here, we describe a mechanism by demonstrating in rat that dopaminergic terminals and receptors in primary motor cortex (M1) enable motor skill learning and enhance M1 synaptic plasticity. Elimination of dopaminergic terminals in M1 specifically impaired motor skill acquisition, which was restored upon DA substitution. Execution of a previously acquired skill was unaffected. Reversible blockade of M1 D1 and D2 receptors temporarily impaired skill acquisition but not execution, and reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) within M1, a form of synaptic plasticity critically involved in skill learning. These findings identify a behavioral and functional role of dopaminergic signaling in M1. DA in M1 optimizes the learning of a novel motor skill. PMID:19759902

  2. Fine motor skill proficiency in typically developing children: On or off the maturation track?

    PubMed

    Gaul, David; Issartel, Johann

    2016-04-01

    Fine motor skill proficiency is an essential component of numerous daily living activities such as dressing, feeding or playing. Poor fine motor skills can lead to difficulties in academic achievement, increased anxiety and poor self-esteem. Recent findings have shown that children's gross motor skill proficiency tends to fall below established developmental norms. A question remains: do fine motor skill proficiency levels also fall below developmental norms? The aim of this study was to examine the current level of fine motor skill in Irish children. Children (N=253) from 2nd, 4th and 6th grades (mean age=7.12, 9.11 and 11.02 respectively) completed the Fine Motor Composite of the Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2nd Edition (BOT-2). Analysis revealed that only 2nd grade children met the expected level of fine motor skill proficiency. It was also found that despite children's raw scores improving with age, children's fine motor skill proficiency was not progressing at the expected rate given by normative data. This leads us to question the role and impact of modern society on fine motor skills development over the past number of decades.

  3. A review of environmental contributions to childhood motor skills

    PubMed Central

    Golding, Jean; Emmett, Pauline; Iles-Caven, Yasmin; Steer, Colin; Lingam, Raghu

    2013-01-01

    Although much of children’s motor skills have a heredity component, at least half of the variance is likely to be influenced by the environment It is important to ascertain features of the environment that are responsible so that toxins can be avoided, children at risk can be identified and beneficial interventions initiated. This review outlines the results of published studies and recommends the areas where further research is required. We found much confusion with little comparability concerning the ages or measures used. Few studies had sufficient power and few allowed for confounders. We found that research to date implicates associations with prenatal drinking ≥4 drinks of alcohol per day; diabetes; taking antidepressant drugs; being deficient in iodine or iron; dietary fish; and postnatal depression. The child appearing to be most at risk was born of low birth weight (but not due to preterm delivery); or with neonatal problems. PMID:24170258

  4. The Relationship between Motor Skills, Perceived Social Support, and Internalizing Problems in a Community Adolescent Sample

    PubMed Central

    Mancini, Vincent O.; Rigoli, Daniela; Heritage, Brody; Roberts, Lynne D.; Piek, Jan P.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Poor motor skills are associated with a range of psychosocial consequences, including internalizing (anxious and depressive) symptoms. The Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis provides a causal framework to explain this association. The framework posits that motor skills impact internalizing problems through an indirect effect via perceived social support. However, empirical evaluation is required. We examined whether motor skills had an indirect effect on anxious and depressive symptoms via perceived family support domains. Methods: This study used a community sample of 93 adolescents (12–16 years). Participants completed measures of motor skills, perceived social support across three dimensions (family, friend, and significant other), depressive symptoms, and anxious symptoms. Age, gender, verbal IQ, and ADHD symptoms were included as control variables. Results: Regression analysis using PROCESS revealed that motor skills had an indirect effect on depressive symptoms via perceived family support, but not by perceived friend support or significant other support. The negative association between motor skills and anxious symptoms was not mediated by any perceived social support domain. Conclusions: Findings are consistent with previous literature indicating an association between motor skills and internalizing problems. However, we identified a different pattern of relationships across anxious and depressive symptoms. While anxiety and depressive symptoms were highly correlated, motor skills had an indirect effect on depressive symptoms via perceived family support only. Our findings highlight the importance of family support as a potential protective factor in the onset of depressive symptoms. This study provides partial support for the Elaborated Environmental Stress Hypothesis, however further research is required. PMID:27148149

  5. Does Computer-Based Motor Skill Assessment Training Transfer to Live Assessing?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Luke E.; Taliaferro, Andrea; Krause, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Developing competency in motor skill assessment has been identified as a critical need in physical educator preparation. We conducted this study to evaluate (a) the effectiveness of a web-based instructional program--Motor Skill Assessment Program (MSAP)--for developing assessment competency, and specifically (b) whether competency developed by…

  6. Sensori-Motor and Daily Living Skills of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jasmin, Emmanuelle; Couture, Melanie; McKinley, Patricia; Reid, Greg; Fombonne, Eric; Gisel, Erika

    2009-01-01

    Sensori-motor development and performance of daily living skills (DLS) remain little explored in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The objective of this study was to determine the impact of sensori-motor skills on the performance of DLS in preschool children with ASD. Thirty-five children, 3-4 years of age, were recruited and assessed…

  7. Are Gross Motor Skills and Sports Participation Related in Children with Intellectual Disabilities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westendorp, Marieke; Houwen, Suzanne; Hartman, Esther; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    This study compared the specific gross motor skills of 156 children with intellectual disabilities (ID) (50 less than or equal to IQ greater than or equal to 79) with that of 255 typically developing children, aged 7-12 years. Additionally, the relationship between the specific gross motor skills and organized sports participation was examined in…

  8. How Fine Motor Skills Influence the Assessment of High Abilities and Underachievement in Math

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ziegler, Albert; Stoeger, Heidrun

    2010-01-01

    Previously, fine motor skills have been of little or no interest to giftedness research. New lines of thought have been advanced that imply that fine motor skills can be of significance in the identification of gifted persons as well as gifted underachievers. This would also have consequences for the diagnostic process underlying identification.…

  9. Fine Motor Skills and Executive Function Both Contribute to Kindergarten Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Murrah, William M.; Bell, Lindsay H.; Worzalla, Samantha L.; Grissmer, David; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the contribution of executive function (EF) and multiple aspects of fine motor skills to achievement on 6 standardized assessments in a sample of middle-socioeconomic status kindergarteners. Three- and 4-year-olds' (n = 213) fine and gross motor skills were assessed in a home visit before kindergarten, EF was measured at fall…

  10. The Association between Motor Skill Competence and Physical Fitness in Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stodden, David; Langendorfer, Stephen; Roberton, Mary Ann

    2009-01-01

    We examined the relationship between competence in three fundamental motor skills (throwing, kicking, and jumping) and six measures of health-related physical fitness in young adults (ages 18-25). We assessed motor skill competence using product scores of maximum kicking and throwing speed and maximum jumping distance. A factor analysis indicated…

  11. A Comparison of the Motor Music Skills of Nonhandicapped and Learning Disabled Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Janet Perkins

    1983-01-01

    The Motoric Music Skills Test was administered to 103 public school children, ages five through nine. Improved skills were related to age, and normal subjects attained a better performance in the areas of motor pattern coordination, eye-hand coordination, and speed and range of movement. (Author/RM)

  12. The Effects of Modified Games on the Development of Gross Motor Skill in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lestari, Indah; Ratnaningsih, Tri

    2016-01-01

    Gross motor skills on children must be optimized much earlier since it plays important role not only on their interaction process but also in supporting other multiple developments. One of the means in developing child's motor skill is by providing innovative games i.e. modified games including game format, game timing, and game sequence. The…

  13. Infants with Down Syndrome: Percentage and Age for Acquisition of Gross Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira, Karina; Basso, Renata Pedrolongo; Lindquist, Ana Raquel Rodrigues; da Silva, Louise Gracelli Pereira; Tudella, Eloisa

    2013-01-01

    The literature is bereft of information about the age at which infants with Down syndrome (DS) acquire motor skills and the percentage of infants that do so by the age of 12 months. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the difference in age, in relation to typical infants, at which motor skills were acquired and the percentage of infants with DS…

  14. A Strategy for Embedding Functional Motor and Early Numeracy Skill Instruction into Physical Education Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whinnery, Stacie B.; Whinnery, Keith W.; Eddins, Daisy

    2016-01-01

    This article addresses the challenges educators face when attempting to find a balance between both functional and academic skill instruction for students with severe, multiple disabilities including motor impairments. The authors describe a strategy that employs embedded instruction of early numeracy and functional motor skills during physical…

  15. Effects of Age and Visual-Motor Skills on Preschool Children's Computer-Game Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strein, William

    1987-01-01

    The relationship of both age and visual-motor skills to performance on an arcade-like video game was studied with 16 preschool children. While age was positively related to performance, no significant relationship was found for the visual-motor skills variable. (Author/CB)

  16. Active learning: learning a motor skill without a coach.

    PubMed

    Huang, Vincent S; Shadmehr, Reza; Diedrichsen, Jörn

    2008-08-01

    When we learn a new skill (e.g., golf) without a coach, we are "active learners": we have to choose the specific components of the task on which to train (e.g., iron, driver, putter, etc.). What guides our selection of the training sequence? How do choices that people make compare with choices made by machine learning algorithms that attempt to optimize performance? We asked subjects to learn the novel dynamics of a robotic tool while moving it in four directions. They were instructed to choose their practice directions to maximize their performance in subsequent tests. We found that their choices were strongly influenced by motor errors: subjects tended to immediately repeat an action if that action had produced a large error. This strategy was correlated with better performance on test trials. However, even when participants performed perfectly on a movement, they did not avoid repeating that movement. The probability of repeating an action did not drop below chance even when no errors were observed. This behavior led to suboptimal performance. It also violated a strong prediction of current machine learning algorithms, which solve the active learning problem by choosing a training sequence that will maximally reduce the learner's uncertainty about the task. While we show that these algorithms do not provide an adequate description of human behavior, our results suggest ways to improve human motor learning by helping people choose an optimal training sequence.

  17. Aging increases the susceptibility to motor memory interference and reduces off-line gains in motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Roig, Marc; Ritterband-Rosenbaum, Anina; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2014-08-01

    Declines in the ability to learn motor skills in older adults are commonly attributed to deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during motor practice. We investigated whether aging also impairs motor memory consolidation by assessing the susceptibility to memory interference and off-line gains in motor skill learning after practice in children, young, and older adults. Subjects performed a ballistic task (A) followed by an accuracy-tracking task (B) designed to disrupt the consolidation of A. Retention tests of A were performed immediately and 24 hours after B. Older adults showed greater susceptibility to memory interference and no off-line gains in motor skill learning. Performing B produced memory interference and reduced off-line gains only in the older group. However, older adults also showed deficits in memory consolidation independent of the interfering effects of B. Age-related declines in motor skill learning are not produced exclusively by deficits in the encoding of sensorimotor information during practice. Aging also increases the susceptibility to memory interference and reduces off-line gains in motor skill learning after practice.

  18. The relationship between gross motor skills and academic achievement in children with learning disabilities.

    PubMed

    Westendorp, Marieke; Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Smith, Joanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    The present study compared the gross motor skills of 7- to 12-year-old children with learning disabilities (n = 104) with those of age-matched typically developing children (n = 104) using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Additionally, the specific relationships between subsets of gross motor skills and academic performance in reading, spelling, and mathematics were examined in children with learning disabilities. As expected, the children with learning disabilities scored poorer on both the locomotor and object-control subtests than their typically developing peers. Furthermore, in children with learning disabilities a specific relationship was observed between reading and locomotor skills and a trend was found for a relationship between mathematics and object-control skills: the larger children's learning lag, the poorer their motor skill scores. This study stresses the importance of specific interventions facilitating both motor and academic abilities.

  19. Activity-based intervention in motor skill development.

    PubMed

    Apache, R R Goyakla

    2005-06-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of an activity-based intervention program and a direct instruction program for preschool children with disabilities. Two groups of preschool students (average age=4.1 yr.), classified as having developmental delays or at risk for such delays, were selected. They were provided 15 weeks of physical education through activity-based intervention and 15 weeks of physical education by direct instruction. Instruction was provided three times a week for 30-min. each session. In the fall semester the morning group received physical education through activity-based intervention, while the afternoon group received physical education through direct instruction. In the spring semester delivery of instruction was reversed for each group. The curriculum and activities provided to each group were identical with only the instructional delivery format altered. Two sets of pre- and post-tests using the Test of Gross Motor Development were administered before and after each 15-wk. instructional period. Group improvement in skills was compared between instructional methods. Significant improvement in both locomotor and object control skills through the activity-based intervention was found compared to direct instruction. Activity-based intervention was shown to be easily adapted to a naturalistic educational setting befitting that of preschool education.

  20. Sensori-motor and daily living skills of preschool children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Jasmin, Emmanuelle; Couture, Mélanie; McKinley, Patricia; Reid, Greg; Fombonne, Eric; Gisel, Erika

    2009-02-01

    Sensori-motor development and performance of daily living skills (DLS) remain little explored in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The objective of this study was to determine the impact of sensori-motor skills on the performance of DLS in preschool children with ASD. Thirty-five children, 3-4 years of age, were recruited and assessed with a battery of diagnostic and clinical tests. Children showed atypical sensory responses, very poor motor and DLS. Sensory avoiding, an excessive reaction to sensory stimuli, and fine motor skills were highly correlated with DLS, even when cognitive performance was taken into account. Sensori-motor deficits have an impact on the autonomy of children with ASD and interventions should aim at improving and supporting the development of sensori-motor skills.

  1. Motor Skills, Attention and Academic Achievements. An Intervention Study in School Years 1-3

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ericsson, Ingegerd

    2008-01-01

    The aim was to study effects of an extension of physical education and motor training on motor skills, attention and cognition during a period of three years. The study has two intervention groups (n = 152) that have physical activity and motor training one lesson every school day and one control group (n = 99) that has the school's ordinary…

  2. Skills Matter: Further Results from the Survey of Adult Skills. OECD Skills Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kankaraš, Miloš; Montt, Guillermo; Paccagnella, Marco; Quintini, Glenda; Thorn, William

    2016-01-01

    In the wake of the technological revolution that began in the last decades of the 20th century, labour market demand for information-processing and other high-level cognitive and interpersonal skills is growing substantially. The "Survey of Adult Skills," a product of the OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult…

  3. Enhancing the Motor Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pool-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Jihyun; Porretta, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often experience difficulties with motor skill learning and performance. The pool is a unique learning environment that can help children with ASDs learn or improve aquatic skills, fitness, and social skills. A pool-based approach is also aligned with the elements of dynamic systems theory, which…

  4. Motor development and motor resonance difficulties in autism: relevance to early intervention for language and communication skills

    PubMed Central

    McCleery, Joseph P.; Elliott, Natasha A.; Sampanis, Dimitrios S.; Stefanidou, Chrysi A.

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that a sub-set of children with autism experience notable difficulties and delays in motor skills development, and that a large percentage of children with autism experience deficits in motor resonance. These motor-related deficiencies, which evidence suggests are present from a very early age, are likely to negatively affect social-communicative and language development in this population. Here, we review evidence for delayed, impaired, and atypical motor development in infants and children with autism. We then carefully review and examine the current language and communication-based intervention research that is relevant to motor and motor resonance (i.e., neural “mirroring” mechanisms activated when we observe the actions of others) deficits in children with autism. Finally, we describe research needs and future directions and developments for early interventions aimed at addressing the speech/language and social-communication development difficulties in autism from a motor-related perspective. PMID:23630476

  5. Global models: Robot sensing, control, and sensory-motor skills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenker, Paul S.

    1989-01-01

    Robotics research has begun to address the modeling and implementation of a wide variety of unstructured tasks. Examples include automated navigation, platform servicing, custom fabrication and repair, deployment and recovery, and science exploration. Such tasks are poorly described at onset; the workspace layout is partially unfamiliar, and the task control sequence is only qualitatively characterized. The robot must model the workspace, plan detailed physical actions from qualitative goals, and adapt its instantaneous control regimes to unpredicted events. Developing robust representations and computational approaches for these sensing, planning, and control functions is a major challenge. The underlying domain constraints are very general, and seem to offer little guidance for well-bounded approximation of object shape and motion, manipulation postures and trajectories, and the like. This generalized modeling problem is discussed, with an emphasis on the role of sensing. It is also discussed that unstructured tasks often have, in fact, a high degree of underlying physical symmetry, and such implicit knowledge should be drawn on to model task performance strategies in a methodological fashion. A group-theoretic decomposition of the workspace organization, task goals, and their admissible interactions are proposed. This group-mechanical approach to task representation helps to clarify the functional interplay of perception and control, in essence, describing what perception is specifically for, versus how it is generically modeled. One also gains insight how perception might logically evolve in response to needs of more complex motor skills. It is discussed why, of the many solutions that are often mathematically admissible to a given sensory motor-coordination problem, one may be preferred over others.

  6. Neural substrates underlying stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning after stroke.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Stéphanie; Dricot, Laurence; Laloux, Patrice; Gradkowski, Wojciech; Desfontaines, Philippe; Evrard, Frédéric; Peeters, André; Jamart, Jacques; Vandermeeren, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning is one of the key components of motor function recovery after stroke, especially recovery driven by neurorehabilitation. Transcranial direct current stimulation can enhance neurorehabilitation and motor skill learning in stroke patients. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the retention of stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning involving a paretic upper limb have not been resolved. These neural substrates were explored by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Nineteen chronic hemiparetic stroke patients participated in a double-blind, cross-over randomized, sham-controlled experiment with two series. Each series consisted of two sessions: (i) an intervention session during which dual transcranial direct current stimulation or sham was applied during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb; and (ii) an imaging session 1 week later, during which the patients performed the learned motor skill. The motor skill learning task, called the 'circuit game', involves a speed/accuracy trade-off and consists of moving a pointer controlled by a computer mouse along a complex circuit as quickly and accurately as possible. Relative to the sham series, dual transcranial direct current stimulation applied bilaterally over the primary motor cortex during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb resulted in (i) enhanced online motor skill learning; (ii) enhanced 1-week retention; and (iii) superior transfer of performance improvement to an untrained task. The 1-week retention's enhancement driven by the intervention was associated with a trend towards normalization of the brain activation pattern during performance of the learned motor skill relative to the sham series. A similar trend towards normalization relative to sham was observed during performance of a simple, untrained task without a speed/accuracy constraint, despite a lack of behavioural difference between the dual transcranial direct current stimulation and sham

  7. Fine Motor Skill Mediates Visual Memory Ability with Microstructural Neuro-correlates in Cerebellar Peduncles in Prematurely Born Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Alyssa R; Lacadie, Cheryl; Vohr, Betty; Ment, Laura R; Scheinost, Dustin

    2017-01-19

    Adolescents born preterm (PT) with no evidence of neonatal brain injury are at risk of deficits in visual memory and fine motor skills that diminish academic performance. The association between these deficits and white matter microstructure is relatively unexplored. We studied 190 PTs with no brain injury and 92 term controls at age 16 years. The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF), the Beery visual-motor integration (VMI), and the Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) were collected for all participants, while a subset (40 PTs and 40 terms) underwent diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. PTs performed more poorly than terms on ROCF, VMI, and GPT (all P < 0.01). Mediation analysis showed fine motor skill (GPT score) significantly mediates group difference in ROCF and VMI (all P < 0.001). PTs showed a negative correlation (P < 0.05, corrected) between fractional anisotropy (FA) in the bilateral middle cerebellar peduncles and GPT score, with higher FA correlating to lower (faster task completion) GPT scores, and between FA in the right superior cerebellar peduncle and ROCF scores. PTs also had a positive correlation (P < 0.05, corrected) between VMI and left middle cerebellar peduncle FA. Novel strategies to target fine motor skills and the cerebellum may help PTs reach their full academic potential.

  8. Fine and gross motor skills differ between healthy-weight and obese children.

    PubMed

    Gentier, Ilse; D'Hondt, Eva; Shultz, Sarah; Deforche, Benedicte; Augustijn, Mireille; Hoorne, Sofie; Verlaecke, Katja; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Lenoir, Matthieu

    2013-11-01

    Within the obesity literature, focus is put on the link between weight status and gross motor skills. However, research on fine motor skills in the obese (OB) childhood population is limited. Therefore, the present study focused on possible weight related differences in gross as well as fine motor skill tasks. Thirty-four OB children (12 ♀ and 22 ♂, aged 7-13 years) were recruited prior to participating in a multidisciplinary treatment program at the Zeepreventorium (De Haan, Belgium). Additionally, a control group of 34 age and gender-matched healthy-weight (HW) children was included in the study. Anthropometric measures were recorded and gross and fine motor skills were assessed using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, second edition (BOT-2). Results were analyzed by independent samples t-tests, multivariate analysis of variance, and a chi-squared test. Being OB was detrimental for all subtests evaluating gross motor skill performance (i.e., upper-limb coordination, bilateral coordination, balance, running speed and agility, and strength). Furthermore, OB children performed worse in fine motor precision and a manual dexterity task, when compared to their HW peers. No group differences existed for the fine motor integration task. Our study provides evidence that lower motor competence in OB children is not limited to gross motor skills alone; OB children are also affected by fine motor skill problems. Further investigation is warranted to provide possible explanations for these differences. It is tentatively suggested that OB children experience difficulties with the integration and processing of sensory information. Future research is needed to explore whether this assumption is correct and what the underlying mechanism(s) could be.

  9. Effects of gross motor function and manual function levels on performance-based ADL motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Park, Myoung-Ok

    2017-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine effects of Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels on performance-based motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three children with cerebral palsy were included. The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills was used to evaluate performance-based motor skills in daily life. Gross motor function was assessed using Gross Motor Function Classification Systems, and manual function was measured using the Manual Ability Classification System. [Results] Motor skills in daily activities were significantly different on Gross Motor Function Classification System level and Manual Ability Classification System level. According to the results of multiple regression analysis, children categorized as Gross Motor Function Classification System level III scored lower in terms of performance based motor skills than Gross Motor Function Classification System level I children. Also, when analyzed with respect to Manual Ability Classification System level, level II was lower than level I, and level III was lower than level II in terms of performance based motor skills. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that performance-based motor skills differ among children categorized based on Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels of cerebral palsy. PMID:28265171

  10. Effects of gross motor function and manual function levels on performance-based ADL motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Park, Myoung-Ok

    2017-02-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine effects of Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels on performance-based motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three children with cerebral palsy were included. The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills was used to evaluate performance-based motor skills in daily life. Gross motor function was assessed using Gross Motor Function Classification Systems, and manual function was measured using the Manual Ability Classification System. [Results] Motor skills in daily activities were significantly different on Gross Motor Function Classification System level and Manual Ability Classification System level. According to the results of multiple regression analysis, children categorized as Gross Motor Function Classification System level III scored lower in terms of performance based motor skills than Gross Motor Function Classification System level I children. Also, when analyzed with respect to Manual Ability Classification System level, level II was lower than level I, and level III was lower than level II in terms of performance based motor skills. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that performance-based motor skills differ among children categorized based on Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification System levels of cerebral palsy.

  11. Speed of motor re-learning after experimental stroke depends on prior skill.

    PubMed

    Schubring-Giese, Maximilian; Molina-Luna, Katiuska; Hertler, Benjamin; Buitrago, Manuel M; Hanley, Daniel F; Luft, Andreas R

    2007-08-01

    Many motor rehabilitation therapies are based on principles of motor learning. Motor learning depends on preliminary knowledge of the trained and other (similar) skills. This study sought to investigate the influence of prior skill knowledge on re-learning of a precision reaching skill after a cortical lesion in rat. One group of animals recovered a previously known skill (skill training, followed by stroke and re-learning training, TST, n = 8). A second group learned the skill for the first time after stroke (ST, n = 6). A control group received prolonged training without stroke (n = 6). Unilateral partial motor cortex lesions were induced photothrombotically after identifying the forelimb representation using epidural stimulation mapping. In TST animals, re-learning after stroke was slower than learning before stroke (post hoc repeated measures ANOVA P = 0.039) and learning in the control group (P = 0.033). De novo learning after stroke (ST group) was not different from healthy learning. These findings show that skill learning can be performed if the motor cortex is partially lesioned; re-learning of a skill after stroke is slowed by prior knowledge of the skill. It remains to be tested in humans whether task novelty positively influences rehabilitation therapy.

  12. Analogy learning and the performance of motor skills under pressure.

    PubMed

    Lam, Wing Kai; Maxwell, Jon P; Masters, Richard

    2009-06-01

    The efficacy of analogical instruction, relative to explicit instruction, for the acquisition of a complex motor skill and subsequent performance under pressure was investigated using a modified (seated) basketball shooting task. Differences in attentional resource allocation associated with analogy and explicit learning were also examined using probe reaction times (PRT). Access to task-relevant explicit (declarative) knowledge was assessed. The analogy and explicit learning groups performed equally well during learning and delayed retention tests. The explicit group experienced a drop in performance during a pressured transfer test, relative to their performance during a preceding retention test. However, the analogy group's performance was unaffected by the pressure manipulation. Results from PRTs suggested that both groups allocated equal amounts of attentional resources to the task throughout learning and test trials. Analogy learners had significantly less access to rules about the mechanics of their movements, relative to explicit learners. The results are interpreted in the context of Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory and Masters's (1992) theory of reinvestment.

  13. Assessing Motor Skill Competency in Elementary School Students: A Three-Year Study

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Steve; Hypnar, Andrew; Bennett, Austin

    2016-01-01

    This study was to examine how well fourth- and fifth-grade students demonstrated motor skill competency assessed with selected PE Metrics assessment rubrics (2009). Fourth- and fifth-grade students (n = 1,346-1,926) were assessed on their performance of three manipulative skills using the PE Metrics Assessment Rubrics during the pre-intervention year, the post-intervention year 1, and the post-intervention year 3. Descriptive statistics, independent t-test, ANOVA, and follow-up comparisons were conducted for data analysis. The results indicated that the post-intervention year 2 cohort performed significantly more competent than the pre-intervention cohort and the post-intervention year 1 cohort on the three manipulative skill assessments. The post-intervention year 1 cohort significantly outperformed the pre-intervention cohort on the soccer dribbling, passing, and receiving and the striking skill assessments, but not on the throwing skill assessment. Although the boys in the three cohorts performed significantly better than the girls on all three skills, the girls showed substantial improvement on the overhand throwing and the soccer skills from baseline to the post-intervention year 1 and the post-intervention year 2. However, the girls, in particular, need to improve striking skill. The CTACH PE was conducive to improving fourth- and fifth-grade students’ motor skill competency in the three manipulative skills. This study suggest that PE Metrics assessment rubrics are feasible tools for PE teachers to assess levels of students’ demonstration of motor skill competency during a regular PE lesson. Key points CATCH PE is an empirically-evidenced quality PE curricular that is conducive to improving students’ manipulative skill competency. Boys significantly outperformed than girls in all three manipulative skills. Girls need to improve motor skill competency in striking skill. PE Metrics are feasible assessment rubrics that can be easily used by trained

  14. The relationship between transitional motor skills and locomotion.

    PubMed

    Looper, Julia; Talbot, Sara; Link, Allison; Chandler, Lynette

    2015-02-01

    This study explores whether transitional skills and sitting correlate with locomotion onset. The development of eight infants was followed. Most transitional skills correlated with locomotor skills. Sitting and rolling did not. Transitional skills may resemble the control needed for locomotion more closely than sitting.

  15. Teaching and Assessing Manipulative Motor Skills in High School Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bert, Greg

    2015-01-01

    This article provides new ways to teach and assess motor skills in various lifetime sports such as tennis, golf, badminton, and other sports that students are likely to play as adults by focusing on five basic biomechanical principles.

  16. Comparison of motor and process skills among children with different developmental disabilities

    PubMed Central

    Park, Myoung-Ok

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to compare the motor and process skills of children with different developmental disabilities. [Subjects] Thirty-nine children with developmental disabilities participated in this study which was conducted at N hospital in South Korea. [Methods] The motor and process skills of the participants were compared among three different disabilities: pervasive developmental disorder, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disorder. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA. [Results] Significant differences in motor skills were found among the diagnoses. The cerebral palsy group showed poorer motor skills than the pervasive developmental disability and intellectual disability groups. [Conclusion] The findings have clinical implications for strategies of rehabilitation for children with developmental disabilities. PMID:26644670

  17. Task Analyses and Objectives for Trainable Mentally Retarded: Communication Skills [and] Daily Living Skills [and] Motor Skills [and] Quantitative Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minneapolis Public Schools, Minn.

    The document is comprised of objectives and information on step-by-step tasks for instruction of trainable mentally retarded students and for development of individualized education programs. Each objective includes information on materials, behavioral criteria, and a chart to assess task analyzed steps. Four main skill areas are covered (sample…

  18. Neural substrates underlying motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre, Stéphanie; Dricot, Laurence; Laloux, Patrice; Gradkowski, Wojciech; Desfontaines, Philippe; Evrard, Frédéric; Peeters, André; Jamart, Jacques; Vandermeeren, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning is critical in post-stroke motor recovery, but little is known about its underlying neural substrates. Recently, using a new visuomotor skill learning paradigm involving a speed/accuracy trade-off in healthy individuals we identified three subpopulations based on their behavioral trajectories: fitters (in whom improvement in speed or accuracy coincided with deterioration in the other parameter), shifters (in whom speed and/or accuracy improved without degradation of the other parameter), and non-learners. We aimed to identify the neural substrates underlying the first stages of motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients and to determine whether specific neural substrates were recruited in shifters versus fitters. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), 23 patients learned the visuomotor skill with their paretic upper limb. In the whole-group analysis, correlation between activation and motor skill learning was restricted to the dorsal prefrontal cortex of the damaged hemisphere (DLPFCdamh: r = −0.82) and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMddamh: r = 0.70); the correlations was much lesser (−0.16 < r > 0.25) in the other regions of interest. In a subgroup analysis, significant activation was restricted to bilateral posterior parietal cortices of the fitters and did not correlate with motor skill learning. Conversely, in shifters significant activation occurred in the primary sensorimotor cortexdamh and supplementary motor areadamh and in bilateral PMd where activation changes correlated significantly with motor skill learning (r = 0.91). Finally, resting-state activity acquired before learning showed a higher functional connectivity in the salience network of shifters compared with fitters (qFDR < 0.05). These data suggest a neuroplastic compensatory reorganization of brain activity underlying the first stages of motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients, with a key role

  19. Fine motor skill predicts expressive language in infant siblings of children with autism.

    PubMed

    LeBarton, Eve Sauer; Iverson, Jana M

    2013-11-01

    We investigated whether fine motor and expressive language skills are related in the later-born siblings of children with autism (heightened-risk, HR infants) who are at increased risk for language delays. We observed 34 HR infants longitudinally from 12 to 36 months. We used parent report and standardized observation measures to assess fine motor skill from 12 to 24 months in HR infants (Study 1) and its relation to later expressive vocabulary at 36 months in HR infants (Study 2). In Study 1, we also included 25 infants without a family history of autism to serve as a normative comparison group for a parent-report fine motor measure. We found that HR infants exhibited fine motor delays between 12 and 24 months and expressive vocabulary delays at 36 months. Further, fine motor skill significantly predicted expressive language at 36 months. Fine motor and expressive language skills are related early in development in HR infants, who, as a group, exhibit risk for delays in both. Our findings highlight the importance of considering fine motor skill in children at risk for language impairments and may have implications for early identification of expressive language difficulties.

  20. Reduced asymmetry in motor skill learning in left-handed compared to right-handed individuals.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Robert L; Kantak, Shailesh S

    2016-02-01

    Hemispheric specialization for motor control influences how individuals perform and adapt to goal-directed movements. In contrast to adaptation, motor skill learning involves a process wherein one learns to synthesize novel movement capabilities in absence of perturbation such that they are performed with greater accuracy, consistency and efficiency. Here, we investigated manual asymmetry in acquisition and retention of a complex motor skill that requires speed and accuracy for optimal performance in right-handed and left-handed individuals. We further determined if degree of handedness influences motor skill learning. Ten right-handed (RH) and 10 left-handed (LH) adults practiced two distinct motor skills with their dominant or nondominant arms during separate sessions two-four weeks apart. Learning was quantified by changes in the speed-accuracy tradeoff function measured at baseline and one-day retention. Manual asymmetry was evident in the RH group but not the LH group. RH group demonstrated significantly greater skill improvement for their dominant-right hand than their nondominant-left hand. In contrast, for the LH group, both dominant and nondominant hands demonstrated comparable learning. Less strongly-LH individuals (lower EHI scores) exhibited more learning of their dominant hand. These results suggest that while hemispheric specialization influences motor skill learning, these effects may be influenced by handedness.

  1. Qigong massage for motor skills in young children with cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Silva, Louisa M T; Schalock, Mark; Garberg, Jodi; Smith, Cynthia Lammers

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we present a small randomized controlled study evaluating the effect of a dual parent- and trainer-delivered qigong massage methodology on motor skills and sensory responses in 28 children under age 4 with developmental delay and motor tone abnormalities. Fourteen children had high motor tone as a result of cerebral palsy (CP), and 14 children had low motor tone as a result of Down syndrome. Multivariate analysis and post hoc analysis of variance showed large effect-size improvements in Peabody Gross Motor Scale (PGMS) Object Manipulation scores (p < .01) and large effect-size improvements in overall PGMS scores (p < .04) in treatment versus control groups after 5 mo intervention. Follow-up evaluation 10 mo from the start indicated continued improvement. Sensory responses showed no treatment effect. The results suggest further investigation of qigong massage as a promising avenue for research to improve motor skills in young children with CP and Down syndrome.

  2. Relationship between Motor Skill and Body Mass Index in 5- to 10-Year-Old Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Hondt, Eva; Deforche, Benedicte; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse; Lenoir, Matthieu

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate gross and fine motor skill in overweight and obese children compared with normal-weight peers. According to international cut-off points for Body Mass Index (BMI) from Cole et al. (2000), all 117 participants (5-10 year) were classified as being normal-weight, overweight, or obese. Level of motor skill…

  3. Culturally & Linguistically Sensitive Practices in Motor Skills Intervention for Young Children. Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baghwanji, Yash; Santos, Rosa Milagros; Fowler, Susan A.

    This report examines the validity of motor intervention practices that have been described as "quality" practices and the extent to which they are appropriate for all families and children. Misunderstandings and conflicts in the areas of motor skills evaluation and intervention can occur between those providing services and those receiving…

  4. Behind Mathematical Learning Disabilities: What about Visual Perception and Motor Skills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pieters, Stefanie; Desoete, Annemie; Roeyers, Herbert; Vanderswalmen, Ruth; Van Waelvelde, Hilde

    2012-01-01

    In a sample of 39 children with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) and 106 typically developing controls belonging to three control groups of three different ages, we found that visual perception, motor skills and visual-motor integration explained a substantial proportion of the variance in either number fact retrieval or procedural…

  5. Motor Skill Performance and Sports Participation in Deaf Elementary School Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Esther; Houwen, Suzanne; Visscher, Chris

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to examine motor performance in deaf elementary school children and its association with sports participation. The population studied included 42 deaf children whose hearing loss ranged from 80 to 120 dB. Their motor skills were assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, and a questionnaire was used to determine…

  6. Changes in Information Processing with Aging: Implications for Teaching Motor Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anshel, Mark H.

    Although there are marked individual differences in the effect of aging on learning and performing motor skills, there is agreement that humans process information less efficiently with advanced age. Significant decrements have been found specifically with motor tasks that are characterized as externally-paced, rapid, complex, and requiring rapid…

  7. A Model for the Transfer of Perceptual-Motor Skill Learning in Human Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosalie, Simon M.; Muller, Sean

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a preliminary model that outlines the mechanisms underlying the transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning in sport and everyday tasks. Perceptual-motor behavior is motivated by performance demands and evolves over time to increase the probability of success through adaptation. Performance demands at the time of an event…

  8. Visual Constructive and Visual-Motor Skills in Deaf Native Signers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hauser, Peter C.; Cohen, Julie; Dye, Matthew W. G.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2007-01-01

    Visual constructive and visual-motor skills in the deaf population were investigated by comparing performance of deaf native signers (n = 20) to that of hearing nonsigners (n = 20) on the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, Wechsler Memory Scale Visual Reproduction subtest, and…

  9. Motor Skill Performance by Low SES Preschool and Typically Developing Children on the PDMS-2

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Ting; Hoffmann, Chelsea; Hamilton, Michelle

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the motor skill performance of preschool children from low socioeconomic (SES) backgrounds to their age matched typically developing peers using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 (PDMS-2). Sixty-eight children (34 low SES and 34 typically developing; ages 3-5) performed the PDMS-2. Standard scores…

  10. Interaction of Language Processing and Motor Skill in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiDonato Brumbach, Andrea C.; Goffman, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: To examine how language production interacts with speech motor and gross and fine motor skill in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Eleven children with SLI and 12 age-matched peers (4-6 years) produced structurally primed sentences containing particles and prepositions. Utterances were analyzed for errors and for…

  11. Relationship between Motor Skill Competency and Executive Function in Children with Down's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schott, N.; Holfelder, B.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Previous studies suggest that children with Down's syndrome (DS), a genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, demonstrate motor problems and cognitive deficits. The first aim of this study was to examine motor skills and executive functions (EFs) in school-age children with DS. The second aim was to investigate the relationship…

  12. Developing Motor and Tactical Skills in K-2 Physical Education: Let the Games Begin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oslin, Judy

    2004-01-01

    Most motor development experts, teacher educators, and physical educators agree that the development of fundamental motor skills ought to be the focus of primary level (K-2nd grade) physical education. Given the limited number of days allocated for physical education in most elementary schools, ensuring that all students learn 200 or more…

  13. Sit to Talk: Relation between Motor Skills and Language Development in Infancy

    PubMed Central

    Libertus, Klaus; Violi, Dominic A.

    2016-01-01

    Relations between walking skills and language development have been reported in 10- to 14-month-old infants. However, whether earlier emerging motor milestones also affect language skills remains unknown. The current research fills this gap by examining the relation between reaching and sitting skills and later language development, respectively. Reaching and sitting were assessed eight times, starting when infants (N = 29) were around 3 months of age. All assessments were completed and recorded remotely via videoconference using Skype or FaceTime. Subsequently, infants’ language and motor skills were assessed via parent questionnaires (Communicative Development Inventories and Early Motor Questionnaire) at 10 and 14 months of age. Results revealed a significant correlation between the emergence of sitting skills and receptive vocabulary size at 10 and 14 months of age. Regression analyses further confirmed this pattern and revealed that the emergence of sitting is a significant predictor of subsequent language development above and beyond influences of concurrent motor skills. These findings suggest that the onset of independent sitting may initiate a developmental cascade that results in increased language learning opportunities. Further, this study also demonstrates how infants’ early motor skills can be assessed remotely using videoconference. PMID:27065934

  14. A Single Bout of Moderate Aerobic Exercise Improves Motor Skill Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Statton, Matthew A; Encarnacion, Marysol; Celnik, Pablo; Bastian, Amy J

    2015-01-01

    Long-term exercise is associated with improved performance on a variety of cognitive tasks including attention, executive function, and long-term memory. Remarkably, recent studies have shown that even a single bout of aerobic exercise can lead to immediate improvements in declarative learning and memory, but less is known about the effect of exercise on motor learning. Here we sought to determine the effect of a single bout of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on motor skill learning. In experiment 1, we investigated the effect of moderate aerobic exercise on motor acquisition. 24 young, healthy adults performed a motor learning task either immediately after 30 minutes of moderate intensity running, after running followed by a long rest period, or after slow walking. Motor skill was assessed via a speed-accuracy tradeoff function to determine how exercise might differentially affect two distinct components of motor learning performance: movement speed and accuracy. In experiment 2, we investigated both acquisition and retention of motor skill across multiple days of training. 20 additional participants performed either a bout of running or slow walking immediately before motor learning on three consecutive days, and only motor learning (no exercise) on a fourth day. We found that moderate intensity running led to an immediate improvement in motor acquisition for both a single session and on multiple sessions across subsequent days, but had no effect on between-day retention. This effect was driven by improved movement accuracy, as opposed to speed. However, the benefit of exercise was dependent upon motor learning occurring immediately after exercise-resting for a period of one hour after exercise diminished the effect. These results demonstrate that moderate intensity exercise can prime the nervous system for the acquisition of new motor skills, and suggest that similar exercise protocols may be effective in improving the outcomes of movement rehabilitation

  15. Motor Skill Performance of School-Age Children with Visual Impairments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houwen, S.; Visscher, C.; Lemmink, K. A. P. M.; Hartman, E.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the performance of children with visual impairments (VI) aged 7 to 10 years on different types of motor skills. Furthermore, the association between the degree of the VI and motor performance was examined. The motor performance of 48 children with VI (32 males, 16 females; mean age 8y 10mo [SD 1y 1mo]) was…

  16. The effects of an early motor skill intervention on motor skills, levels of physical activity, and socialization in young children with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Ketcheson, Leah; Hauck, Janet; Ulrich, Dale

    2017-05-01

    Despite evidence suggesting one of the earliest indicators of an eventual autism spectrum disorder diagnoses is an early motor delay, there remain very few interventions targeting motor behavior as the primary outcome for young children with autism spectrum disorder. The aim of this pilot study was to measure the efficacy of an intensive motor skill intervention on motor skills (Test of Gross Motor Development-2), physical activity (accelerometers), and socialization (Playground Observation of Peer Engagement) in young children with autism spectrum disorder. A total of 20 children with autism spectrum disorder aged 4-6 years participated. The experimental group ( n = 11) participated in an 8-week intervention consisting of motor skill instruction for 4 h/day, 5 days/week. The control group ( n = 9) did not receive the intervention. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance revealed statistically significant differences between groups in all three motor outcomes, locomotor ( F(1, 14) = 10.07, p < 0.001, partial η(2) = 0.42), object control ( F(1, 14) = 12.90, p < 0.001, partial η(2) = 0.48), and gross quotient ( F(1, 14) = 15.61, p < 0.01, partial η(2) = 0.53). Findings shed light on the importance of including motor programming as part of the early intervention services delivered to young children with autism spectrum disorder.

  17. 78 FR 41187 - Driver Qualifications: Skill Performance Evaluation; Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-09

    ... Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Driver Qualifications: Skill Performance Evaluation; Virginia...), on behalf of truck and bus drivers who are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and need a Skill...: You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) number FMCSA-2013-0147...

  18. Relations of Preschoolers' Visual-Motor and Object Manipulation Skills with Executive Function and Social Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacDonald, Megan; Lipscomb, Shannon; McClelland, Megan M.; Duncan, Rob; Becker, Derek; Anderson, Kim; Kile, Molly

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this article was to examine specific linkages between early visual-motor integration skills and executive function, as well as between early object manipulation skills and social behaviors in the classroom during the preschool year. Method: Ninety-two children aged 3 to 5 years old (M[subscript age] = 4.31 years) were…

  19. Acquisition and improvement of human motor skills: Learning through observation and practice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iba, Wayne

    1991-01-01

    Skilled movement is an integral part of the human existence. A better understanding of motor skills and their development is a prerequisite to the construction of truly flexible intelligent agents. We present MAEANDER, a computational model of human motor behavior, that uniformly addresses both the acquisition of skills through observation and the improvement of skills through practice. MAEANDER consists of a sensory-effector interface, a memory of movements, and a set of performance and learning mechanisms that let it recognize and generate motor skills. The system initially acquires such skills by observing movements performed by another agent and constructing a concept hierarchy. Given a stored motor skill in memory, MAEANDER will cause an effector to behave appropriately. All learning involves changing the hierarchical memory of skill concepts to more closely correspond to either observed experience or to desired behaviors. We evaluated MAEANDER empirically with respect to how well it acquires and improves both artificial movement types and handwritten script letters from the alphabet. We also evaluate MAEANDER as a psychological model by comparing its behavior to robust phenomena in humans and by considering the richness of the predictions it makes.

  20. Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players

    PubMed Central

    Aleksandrović, Marko; Radovanović, Dragan; Okičić, Tomislav; Madić, Dejan; Georgiev, Georgi

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of functional abilities on specificmotor skills. A total number of 92 male water polo players (age 12±0.5 years, body height 156.96±22.3 cm, body weight 51.02±33.18 kg) with at least two years’ experience, were enrolled in the study. The investigation protocol consisted of standardized anthropometric measurements, estimation of maximum oxygen uptake, determination of the lung function values, specific swim tests and swim tests with a ball. The factor analysis was used for the estimation of the structure of specific motor skills. The influence of functional abilities on specific motor skills was estimated by regression analysis. Out of 15 correlations in total between the variables of space of functional abilities of water polo players, 6 were significant at the level of 95% (between the variables of aerobic power and lung function) and all of the correlations (15) between the variables of specific motor skills in water polo players were significant at the 99% level. Only one principal component, the General factor of specific motor skills in water polo (GFSWP) was obtained by way of factorization of the tests of specific motor skills, so the GFSWP represents the latent space of specific motor skills as a criterion. The regression analysis showed that functional abilities (as group predictors) (p= 0.00) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (as a separate variable) have a significant influence on GFSWP (the criterion). The results of the study pointed out the impact of functional abilities on specific motor skills of selected young water polo players. This may be important for the selection and effective coaching in the early period of training and can affect the development of more appropriate and specific training programmes for optimal physical fitness preparation in young water polo players. PMID:23486729

  1. Functional abilities as a predictor of specific motor skills of young water polo players.

    PubMed

    Aleksandrović, Marko; Radovanović, Dragan; Okičić, Tomislav; Madić, Dejan; Georgiev, Georgi

    2011-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of functional abilities on specificmotor skills. A total number of 92 male water polo players (age 12±0.5 years, body height 156.96±22.3 cm, body weight 51.02±33.18 kg) with at least two years' experience, were enrolled in the study. The investigation protocol consisted of standardized anthropometric measurements, estimation of maximum oxygen uptake, determination of the lung function values, specific swim tests and swim tests with a ball. The factor analysis was used for the estimation of the structure of specific motor skills. The influence of functional abilities on specific motor skills was estimated by regression analysis. Out of 15 correlations in total between the variables of space of functional abilities of water polo players, 6 were significant at the level of 95% (between the variables of aerobic power and lung function) and all of the correlations (15) between the variables of specific motor skills in water polo players were significant at the 99% level. Only one principal component, the General factor of specific motor skills in water polo (GFSWP) was obtained by way of factorization of the tests of specific motor skills, so the GFSWP represents the latent space of specific motor skills as a criterion. The regression analysis showed that functional abilities (as group predictors) (p= 0.00) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (as a separate variable) have a significant influence on GFSWP (the criterion). The results of the study pointed out the impact of functional abilities on specific motor skills of selected young water polo players. This may be important for the selection and effective coaching in the early period of training and can affect the development of more appropriate and specific training programmes for optimal physical fitness preparation in young water polo players.

  2. Motor Skill Assessment of Children: Is There an Association between Performance-Based, Child-Report, and Parent-Report Measures of Children's Motor Skills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Johanna; Brown, Ted; Chien, Chi-Wen

    2012-01-01

    Client-centered practice requires therapists to actively seek the perspectives of children and families. Several assessment tools are available to facilitate this process. However, when evaluating motor skill performance, therapists typically concentrate on performance-based assessment. To improve understanding of the information provided by the…

  3. The death of handwriting: secondary effects of frequent computer use on basic motor skills.

    PubMed

    Sulzenbruck, Sandra; Hegele, Mathias; Rinkenauer, Gerhard; Heuer, Herbert

    2011-01-01

    The benefits of modern technologies such as personal computers, in-vehicle navigation systems, and electronic organizers are evident in everyday life. However, only recently has it been proposed that the increasing use of personal computers in producing written texts may significantly contribute to the loss of handwriting skills. Such a fundamental change of human habits is likely to have generalized consequences for other basic fine motor skills as well. In this article, the authors provide evidence that the skill to produce precisely controlled arm-hand movements is related to the usage of computer keyboards in producing written text in everyday life. This result supports the notion that specific cultural skills such as handwriting and typing shape more general perceptual and motor skills. More generally, changing technologies are associated with generalized changes of the profile of basic human skills.

  4. Motor skills development in children with inattentive versus combined subtypes of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Vasserman, Marsha; Bender, H Allison; Macallister, William S

    2014-01-01

    The relations between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and motor skills are well documented, with research indicating both early and lifelong motor deficits in children with this disorder. Despite neuroanatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, which may predict differential rates of motor impairment between ADHD subtypes, evaluation of motor skill deficits in children with different presentations are limited in scope and equivocal in findings. The present investigation evaluated early motor development history and objectively measured motor skills in children with ADHD-Inattentive subtype (ADHD-I) and ADHD-Combined subtype (ADHD-C). One hundred and one children with ADHD-I (n = 53) and ADHD-C (n = 48) were included. Variables included Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ), history of motor delays, and utilization of early intervention services, as well as objectively measured motor impairment as assessed via tasks of fine-motor coordination. No between-group differences were found for FSIQ, but differences in age emerged, with the ADHD-I group being older. No differences in early motor delays were observed, though a considerably higher percentage of children with ADHD-C demonstrated early difficulties. Surprisingly, although children and adolescents with ADHD-C reported more frequent utilization of early intervention services, those with ADHD-I exhibited greater levels of current motor impairment on objective tasks. Given the over-representation of older children in the ADHD-I group, data were reanalyzed after excluding participants older than 10 years of age. Although the between-group differences were no longer significant, more than twice the number of parents of children with ADHD-C reported early motor delays, as compared with the ADHD-I group. Overall, children with ADHD-I were more likely to exhibit current objectively measured motor impairment, possibly due to later identification, less intervention, and/or different neurodevelopmental substrates

  5. [Motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skills of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique: recommendations for the teaching-learning process].

    PubMed

    Miyadahira, A M

    2001-12-01

    It is a bibliographic study about the identification of the motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skills of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) which aims to obtain subsidies to the planning of the teaching-learning process of this skill. It was found that: the motor capacities involved in the psychomotor skill of the CPR technique are predominantly cognitive and motor, involving 9 perceptive-motor capacities and 8 physical proficiency capacities. The CPR technique is a psychomotor skill classified as open, done in series and categorized as a thin and global skill and the teaching-learning process of the CPR technique has an elevated degree of complexity.

  6. A Comparison of Perceptual Motor Skill with Auditory Comprehension as Correlates of Word Recognition, Oral Reading, and Silent Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillman, Chester E.

    A study was conducted to examine the relationship of perceptual motor skills as measured by the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test to word recognition, oral reading, and silent reading. In addition, perceptual motor skill and auditory comprehension were compared as correlates of the three reading variables. Subjects were 60 primary grade students in…

  7. Motor Skill Development in Italian Pre-School Children Induced by Structured Activities in a Specific Playground

    PubMed Central

    Tortella, Patrizia; Haga, Monika; Loras, Håvard

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the effects and specificity of structured and unstructured activities played at the playground Primo Sport 0246 in Northern Italy on motor skill competence in five years old children. The playground was specifically designed to promote gross motor skills in preschool children; in this study 71 children from local kindergartens came to the park once a week for ten consecutive weeks and were exposed to 30 minutes of free play and 30 minutes of structured activities. Before and after the ten visits, each child completed nine tests to assess levels of motor skills, three for fine-motor skills and six for gross-motor skills. As control, motor skills were also assessed on 39 children from different kindergartens who did not come to the park. The results show that the experimental group who practiced gross-motor activities in the playground for 1 hour a week for 10 weeks improved significantly in 4 out of the 6 gross motor tasks and in none of the fine motor tasks. The data indicate that limited transfer occurred between tasks referring to different domains of motor competences while suggesting cross feeding for improvement of gross-motor skills between different exercises when domains related to physical fitness and strength of specific muscle groups are involved. These results are relevant to the issue of condition(s) appropriate for maintaining and developing motor skills in this age group as well as for the planning, organization and implementation of play and physical activities in kindergartens. PMID:27462985

  8. Preparing Pre-Service Primary School Teachers to Assess Fundamental Motor Skills: Two Skills and Two Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, John; Miller, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Background: Pre-service teacher education (PSTE) programmes for generalist primary school teachers have limited time allocated to Physical Education, Health and Personal Development. In practice, teachers in schools are required to assess motor skills despite the fact that their training provides minimal preparation. This necessitates creative…

  9. Acute effects of dietary constituents on motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes.

    PubMed

    Baker, Lindsay B; Nuccio, Ryan P; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2014-12-01

    Performance in many sports is at least partially dependent on motor control, coordination, decision-making, and other cognitive tasks. This review summarizes available evidence about the ingestion of selected nutrients or isolated compounds (dietary constituents) and potential acute effects on motor skill and/or cognitive performance in athletes. Dietary constituents discussed include branched-chain amino acids, caffeine, carbohydrate, cocoa flavanols, Gingko biloba, ginseng, guarana, Rhodiola rosea, sage, L-theanine, theobromine, and tyrosine. Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are perhaps the most researched dietary constituents. Caffeine and carbohydrate have the greatest number of published reports supporting their ability to enhance acute motor skill and cognitive performance in athletes. At this time, there is insufficient published evidence to substantiate the use of any other dietary constituents to benefit sports-related motor skill or cognitive performance. The optimal dose and timing of caffeine and carbohydrate intake promoting enhanced motor skill and cognitive performance remain to be identified. Valid, reliable, and sensitive batteries of motor skills and cognitive tests should be developed for use in future efficacy studies.

  10. The Evidence Against Learnability of Early Motor Skills Reconsidered.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Razel, Micha

    This paper attempts to refute the assumption that early motor development is determined genetically and is not influenced by environmental factors. The paper re-examines three studies which are consistently cited as providing evidence for a maturational theory of motor development: the "early training study" by Gesell and Thompson, the "swaddling…

  11. Language and Motor Speech Skills in Children with Cerebral Palsy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pirila, Silja; van der Meere, Jaap; Pentikainen, Taina; Ruusu-Niemi, Pirjo; Korpela, Raija; Kilpinen, Jenni; Nieminen, Pirkko

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate associations between the severity of motor limitations, cognitive difficulties, language and motor speech problems in children with cerebral palsy. Also, the predictive power of neonatal cranial ultrasound findings on later outcome was investigated. For this purpose, 36 children (age range 1 year 10 months…

  12. Using Video Game Telemetry Data to Research Motor Chunking, Action Latencies, and Complex Cognitive-Motor Skill Learning.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Joseph J; McColeman, C M; Stepanova, Ekaterina R; Blair, Mark R

    2017-02-07

    Many theories of complex cognitive-motor skill learning are built on the notion that basic cognitive processes group actions into easy-to-perform sequences. The present work examines predictions derived from laboratory-based studies of motor chunking and motor preparation using data collected from the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. We examined 996,163 action sequences in the telemetry data of 3,317 players across seven levels of skill. As predicted, the latency to the first action (thought to be the beginning of a chunked sequence) is delayed relative to the other actions in the group. Other predictions, inspired by the memory drum theory of Henry and Rogers, received only weak support.

  13. Effect of a Mastery Climate Motor Program on Object Control Skills and Perceived Physical Competence in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Leah E.

    2011-01-01

    Fundamental motor skills (e.g., run, jump, catch, and throw) are essential building blocks for more advanced and context-specific skills. Children with these motor skills are able to function independently while learning and exploring their environment. The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) "Active Start"…

  14. Effectiveness of a Fundamental Motor Skill Intervention for 4-Year-Old Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bremer, Emily; Balogh, Robert; Lloyd, Meghann

    2015-01-01

    A wait-list control experimental design was employed to investigate the effectiveness of a fundamental motor skill intervention at improving the motor skills, adaptive behavior, and social skills of 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (experimental n?=?5, control n?=?4); the impact of intervention intensity was also explored. The…

  15. M1 contributes to the intrinsic but not the extrinsic components of motor-skills.

    PubMed

    Romei, Vincenzo; Thut, Gregor; Ramos-Estebanez, Ciro; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2009-10-01

    Procedural skills consist of several components that can be simultaneously acquired. During a motor-learning task we can distinguish between how a "movement" is performed (intrinsic component) and the spatial-related (extrinsic) component of this movement. The intrinsic movement component is thought to be supported by motor loops, including primary motor cortex (M1) as assessed with neuroimaging studies. Here we want to test further whether M1 makes a critical contribution to the movement rather than spatial-related component of skill-learning. To this purpose, we used repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and the serial reaction time (SRT) task. Twenty right-handed participants performed the SRT-task starting with their left or right hand. After this learning session, participants switched to the untrained hand by performing original (spatial-related) and mirror-ordered (movement-based) sequences. rTMS was applied to M1 ipsi- or contralateral to the transfer-hand and both sequences were retested. Results revealed rTMS-interference with motor-skill transfer of mirror-ordered but not original sequences, showing that M1 is critically involved in the retrieval/transformation of the intrinsic but not the extrinsic movement coordinates. rTMS-interference in the mirror-condition consisted of both (i) disruption and (ii) release of motor-skill transfer depending on the stimulated hemisphere and on transfer-hand. The pattern of results suggests (i) contralateral (right) M1 involvement in retrieval/transformation of motor information during left-hand reproduction of previously acquired right-hand motor-skills; and (ii) modulatory interactions of inhibitory nature from the dominant (left) to the non-dominant (right) M1 in the same transfer-condition. These results provide further evidence that M1 is essential to intrinsic movement-based skill-learning and novel insight on models of motor-learning and hemispheric specialization, suggesting the involvement of

  16. Development of oral motor behavior related to the skill assisted spoon feeding.

    PubMed

    van den Engel-Hoek, Lenie; van Hulst, Karen C M; van Gerven, Marjo H J C; van Haaften, Leenke; de Groot, Sandra A F

    2014-05-01

    Milestones in the typical development of eating skills are considered to be nippling (breast or bottle), eating from a spoon, drinking from a cup, biting and chewing. The purpose of this research was to study the development and consolidation of oral motor behavior related to the skill assisted spoon feeding in young infants. The present study longitudinally investigated the development of this skill in 39 healthy children from the start of spoon feeding until the skill was acquired. The Observation List Spoon Feeding with 7 observation items for oral motor behavior and 6 items for abnormal behavior was used. Results showed that infants between 4 and 8 months of age needed 5.7 weeks (SD 2.1), with a range of 8 weeks (from 2 to 10 weeks) to acquire this skill. No significant correlation (p=.109) between age at start spoon feeding and weeks needed to develop the skill was found. During this period oral motor behavior consolidated and abnormal behavior diminished. With this study it is shown that the period in weeks needed to acquire the oral motor behavior for the skill assisted spoon feeding is important in case of feeding problems.

  17. Investigation of Visual Motor Integration Skills in Children With Speech Sound Problems.

    PubMed

    Ercan, Zülfiye Gül; Yilmaz, Şule; Taş, Memduha; Aral, Neriman

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate visual motor integration skills in children with speech sound disorders compared with age-matched controls. Sixty-five children aged from 5 to 6½ years old (68% males, 32% females; M age = 5.4, SD = 0.5) participated in the study. Thirty-one of them had speech sound problems, and 34 were children without any problem in their speech. The Ankara Articulation Test for evaluating speech sound skills and the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration with its supplemental tests of Visual Perception and Motor Coordination were used in the study. Visual Motor Integration, Visual Perception, and Motor Coordination scores of children with speech sound disorders were significantly lower than those of controls.

  18. Promoting Motor Skill Development through the MOVE Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Stacie B.

    This research proposal reviews the literature on the development of mobility skills in students with severe physical disabilities and proposes a single-subject study, using a multiple baseline across subjects design, to evaluate effects of the Mobility Opportunities Via Education (MOVE) Curriculum on the mobility skills of sitting, standing, and…

  19. Graphemes as Motor Units in the Acquisition of Writing Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kandel, Sonia; Soler, Olga; Valdois, Sylviane; Gros, Celine

    2006-01-01

    This study examined whether the graphemic structure of words modulates the timing of handwriting production during the acquisition of writing skills. This is particularly important during the acquisition period because phonological recoding skills are determinant in the elaboration of orthographic representations. First graders wrote seven-letter…

  20. Task-specific contribution of the human striatum to perceptual-motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Cavaco, Sara; Anderson, Steven W; Correia, Manuel; Magalhaes, Marina; Pereira, Claudia; Tuna, Assuncao; Taipa, Ricardo; Pinto, Pedro; Pinto, Claudia; Cruz, Romeu; Lima, Antonio Bastos; Castro-Caldas, Alexandre; da Silva, Antonio Martins; Damasio, Hanna

    2011-01-01

    Acquisition of new perceptual-motor skills depends on multiple brain areas, including the striatum. However, the specific contribution of each structure to this type of learning is still poorly understood. Focusing on the striatum, we proposed (a) to replicate the finding of impaired rotary pursuit (RP) and preserved mirror tracing (MT) in Huntington's disease (HD); and (b) to further explore this putative learning dissociation with other human models of striatal dysfunction (i.e., Parkinson's disease and focal vascular damage) and two new paradigms (i.e., Geometric Figures, GF, and Control Stick, CS) of skill learning. Regardless of the etiology, participants with damage to the striatum showed impaired learning of visuomotor tracking skills (i.e., RP and GF), whereas the ability to learn skills that require motor adaptation (i.e., MT and CS) was not affected. These results suggest a task-specific involvement of the striatum in the early stages of skill learning.

  1. Fine motor skills in adult Tourette patients are task-dependent

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics. Deficient motor inhibition underlying tics is one of the main hypotheses in its pathophysiology. Therefore the question arises whether this supposed deficient motor inhibition affects also voluntary movements. Despite severe motor tics, different personalities who suffer from Tourette perform successfully as neurosurgeon, pilot or professional basketball player. Methods For the investigation of fine motor skills we conducted a motor performance test battery in an adult Tourette sample and an age matched group of healthy controls. Results The Tourette patients showed a significant lower performance in the categories steadiness of both hands and aiming of the right hand in comparison to the healthy controls. A comparison of patients’ subgroup without comorbidities or medication and healthy controls revealed a significant difference in the category steadiness of the right hand. Conclusions Our results show that steadiness and visuomotor integration of fine motor skills are altered in our adult sample but not precision and speed of movements. This alteration pattern might be the clinical vignette of complex adaptations in the excitability of the motor system on the basis of altered cortical and subcortical components. The structurally and functionally altered neuronal components could encompass orbitofrontal, ventrolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, the anterior cingulate, amygdala, primary motor and sensorimotor areas including altered corticospinal projections, the corpus callosum and the basal ganglia. PMID:23057645

  2. Identifying and analyzing motor skill responses in body movement and dance.

    PubMed

    Castañer, Marta; Torrents, Carlota; Anguera, M T; Dinusová, Mária; Jonsson, Gudberg K

    2009-08-01

    The present article analyzes the diversity of motor skills related to three different kinds of instructions: descriptive, metaphoric, and kinesic, with a special emphasis on the detection of temporal patterns (T-patterns). Twelve undergraduates studying sport and physical education, but without experience in dance, were observed during 24 lessons of Body Movement, a discipline based on creative dance, mime dance, and motor skill improvisation. Using observational methodology and technology applied to movement, the aim of this article was to adapt the Observational instrument of Motor Skills (OSMOS) (Castañer, Torrents, Anguera, & Dinusová, 2008) so as to create an instrument capable of analyzing the motor skill responses generated in lessons of Body Movement and Dance. The results, as reflected by the T-patterns detected, show that (1) participants try to generate their own motor skills but copy some fundamental components of the instructions, and (2) the criterion of stability in two configurations (support and axial) is the predominant category. Sequential and coordinated locomotion also appears to be very relevant.

  3. Measures of Fine Motor Skills in People with Tremor Disorders: Appraisal and Interpretation

    PubMed Central

    Norman, Kathleen E.; Héroux, Martin E.

    2013-01-01

    People with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, or other movement disorders involving tremor have changes in fine motor skills that are among the hallmarks of these diseases. Numerous measurement tools have been created and other methods devised to measure such changes in fine motor skills. Measurement tools may focus on specific features – e.g., motor skills or dexterity, slowness in movement execution associated with parkinsonian bradykinesia, or magnitude of tremor. Less obviously, some tools may be better suited than others for specific goals such as detecting subtle dysfunction early in disease, revealing aspects of brain function affected by disease, or tracking changes expected from treatment or disease progression. The purpose of this review is to describe and appraise selected measurement tools of fine motor skills appropriate for people with tremor disorders. In this context, we consider the tools’ content – i.e., what movement features they focus on. In addition, we consider how measurement tools of fine motor skills relate to measures of a person’s disease state or a person’s function. These considerations affect how one should select and interpret the results of these tools in laboratory and clinical contexts. PMID:23717299

  4. How Can Ten Fingers Shape a Pot? Evidence for Equivalent Function in Culturally Distinct Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Gandon, Enora; Bootsma, Reinoud J.; Endler, John A.; Grosman, Leore

    2013-01-01

    Behavioural variability is likely to emerge when a particular task is performed in different cultural settings, assuming that part of human motor behaviour is influenced by culture. In analysing motor behaviour it is useful to distinguish how the action is performed from the result achieved. Does cultural environment lead to specific cultural motor skills? Are there differences between cultures both in the skills themselves and in the corresponding outcomes? Here we analyse the skill of pottery wheel-throwing in French and Indian cultural environments. Our specific goal was to examine the ability of expert potters from distinct cultural settings to reproduce a common model shape (a sphere). The operational aspects of motor performance were captured through the analysis of the hand positions used by the potters during the fashioning process. In parallel, the outcomes were captured by the geometrical characteristics of the vessels produced. As expected, results revealed a cultural influence on the operational aspects of the potters’ motor skill. Yet, the marked cultural differences in hand positions used did not give rise to noticeable differences in the shapes of the vessels produced. Hence, for the simple model form studied, the culturally-specific motor traditions of the French and Indian potters gave rise to an equivalent outcome, that is shape uniformity. Further work is needed to test whether such equivalence is also observed in more complex ceramic shapes. PMID:24312327

  5. How can ten fingers shape a pot? Evidence for equivalent function in culturally distinct motor skills.

    PubMed

    Gandon, Enora; Bootsma, Reinoud J; Endler, John A; Grosman, Leore

    2013-01-01

    Behavioural variability is likely to emerge when a particular task is performed in different cultural settings, assuming that part of human motor behaviour is influenced by culture. In analysing motor behaviour it is useful to distinguish how the action is performed from the result achieved. Does cultural environment lead to specific cultural motor skills? Are there differences between cultures both in the skills themselves and in the corresponding outcomes? Here we analyse the skill of pottery wheel-throwing in French and Indian cultural environments. Our specific goal was to examine the ability of expert potters from distinct cultural settings to reproduce a common model shape (a sphere). The operational aspects of motor performance were captured through the analysis of the hand positions used by the potters during the fashioning process. In parallel, the outcomes were captured by the geometrical characteristics of the vessels produced. As expected, results revealed a cultural influence on the operational aspects of the potters' motor skill. Yet, the marked cultural differences in hand positions used did not give rise to noticeable differences in the shapes of the vessels produced. Hence, for the simple model form studied, the culturally-specific motor traditions of the French and Indian potters gave rise to an equivalent outcome, that is shape uniformity. Further work is needed to test whether such equivalence is also observed in more complex ceramic shapes.

  6. Disentangling fine motor skills' relations to academic achievement: the relative contributions of visual-spatial integration and visual-motor coordination.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Abby G; Rowe, Ellen; Curby, Timothy W

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has established a connection between children's fine motor skills and their academic performance. Previous research has focused on fine motor skills measured prior to elementary school, while the present sample included children ages 5-18 years old, making it possible to examine whether this link remains relevant throughout childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, the majority of research linking fine motor skills and academic achievement has not determined which specific components of fine motor skill are driving this relation. The few studies that have looked at associations of separate fine motor tasks with achievement suggest that copying tasks that tap visual-spatial integration skills are most closely related to achievement. The present study examined two separate elements of fine motor skills--visual-motor coordination and visual-spatial integration--and their associations with various measures of academic achievement. Visual-motor coordination was measured using tracing tasks, while visual-spatial integration was measured using copy-a-figure tasks. After controlling for gender, socioeconomic status, IQ, and visual-motor coordination, and visual-spatial integration explained significant variance in children's math and written expression achievement. Knowing that visual-spatial integration skills are associated with these two achievement domains suggests potential avenues for targeted math and writing interventions for children of all ages.

  7. Disentangling Fine Motor Skills' Relations to Academic Achievement: The Relative Contributions of Visual-Spatial Integration and Visual-Motor Coordination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Abby G.; Rowe, Ellen; Curby, Timothy W.

    2013-01-01

    Recent research has established a connection between children's fine motor skills and their academic performance. Previous research has focused on fine motor skills measured prior to elementary school, while the present sample included children ages 5-18 years old, making it possible to examine whether this link remains relevant throughout…

  8. Fine Motor Skills Predict Maths Ability Better than They Predict Reading Ability in the Early Primary School Years.

    PubMed

    Pitchford, Nicola J; Papini, Chiara; Outhwaite, Laura A; Gulliford, Anthea

    2016-01-01

    Fine motor skills have long been recognized as an important foundation for development in other domains. However, more precise insights into the role of fine motor skills, and their relationships to other skills in mediating early educational achievements, are needed to support the development of optimal educational interventions. We explored concurrent relationships between two components of fine motor skills, Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration, and early reading and maths development in two studies with primary school children of low-to-mid socio-economic status in the UK. Two key findings were revealed. First, despite being in the first 2 years of primary school education, significantly better performance was found in reading compared to maths across both studies. This may reflect the protective effects of recent national-level interventions to promote early literacy skills in young children in the UK that have not been similarly promoted for maths. Second, fine motor skills were a better predictor of early maths ability than they were of early reading ability. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that fine motor skills did not significantly predict reading ability when verbal short-term memory was taken into account. In contrast, Fine Motor Integration remained a significant predictor of maths ability, even after the influence of non-verbal IQ had been accounted for. These results suggest that fine motor skills should have a pivotal role in educational interventions designed to support the development of early mathematical skills.

  9. Fine Motor Skills Predict Maths Ability Better than They Predict Reading Ability in the Early Primary School Years

    PubMed Central

    Pitchford, Nicola J.; Papini, Chiara; Outhwaite, Laura A.; Gulliford, Anthea

    2016-01-01

    Fine motor skills have long been recognized as an important foundation for development in other domains. However, more precise insights into the role of fine motor skills, and their relationships to other skills in mediating early educational achievements, are needed to support the development of optimal educational interventions. We explored concurrent relationships between two components of fine motor skills, Fine Motor Precision and Fine Motor Integration, and early reading and maths development in two studies with primary school children of low-to-mid socio-economic status in the UK. Two key findings were revealed. First, despite being in the first 2 years of primary school education, significantly better performance was found in reading compared to maths across both studies. This may reflect the protective effects of recent national-level interventions to promote early literacy skills in young children in the UK that have not been similarly promoted for maths. Second, fine motor skills were a better predictor of early maths ability than they were of early reading ability. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that fine motor skills did not significantly predict reading ability when verbal short-term memory was taken into account. In contrast, Fine Motor Integration remained a significant predictor of maths ability, even after the influence of non-verbal IQ had been accounted for. These results suggest that fine motor skills should have a pivotal role in educational interventions designed to support the development of early mathematical skills. PMID:27303342

  10. Impact of a Community-Based Programme for Motor Development on Gross Motor Skills and Cognitive Function in Preschool Children from Disadvantaged Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Draper, Catherine E.; Achmat, Masturah; Forbes, Jared; Lambert, Estelle V.

    2012-01-01

    The aims of the studies were to assess the impact of the Little Champs programme for motor development on (1) the gross motor skills, and (2) cognitive function of children in the programme. In study 1, 118 children from one Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) were tested using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, and in study 2, 83…

  11. Bend it like Beckham: embodying the motor skills of famous athletes.

    PubMed

    Bach, Patric; Tipper, Steven P

    2006-12-01

    Observing an action activates the same representations as does the actual performance of the action. Here we show for the first time that the action system can also be activated in the complete absence of action perception. When the participants had to identify the faces of famous athletes, the responses were influenced by their similarity to the motor skills of the athletes. Thus, the motor skills of the viewed athletes were retrieved automatically during person identification and had a direct influence on the action system of the observer. However, our results also indicated that motor behaviours that are implicit characteristics of other people are represented differently from when actions are directly observed. That is, unlike the facilitatory effects reported when actions were seen, the embodiment of the motor behaviour that is not concurrently perceived gave rise to contrast effects where responses similar to the behaviour of the athletes were inhibited.

  12. Children's self-perceived bodily competencies and associations with motor skills, body mass index, teachers' evaluations, and parents' concerns.

    PubMed

    Toftegaard-stoeckel, Jan; Groenfeldt, Vivian; Andersen, Lars Bo

    2010-10-01

    The associations between physical competence, self-perceived bodily competence, parental concern for their children's motor skill development, and teachers' evaluation of their bodily competence were assessed in 646 six- to seven-year-olds. Physical competence was assessed by the German motor ability test "Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder", while the children's, their parents', and their teachers' evaluations were obtained through questionnaires. Parental concern, teacher evaluation, and a high body mass index were the strongest predictors of low physical competence (motor skill quotient < 85). Teachers' evaluation of bodily competence was associated with low self-perceived bodily competence in the children even after adjustment for motor skill quotient, with an odds ratio of 2.3 (P < 0.05) between the lowest and highest of the three levels after correction for motor skill competence. Results indicate that teachers' evaluation of children's motor skills should be considered a key factor when tracking and assessing physical competencies among youth.

  13. Assessment of sensorimotor cortical representation asymmetries and motor skills in violin players.

    PubMed

    Schwenkreis, Peter; El Tom, Susan; Ragert, Patrick; Pleger, Burkhard; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2007-12-01

    As a model for use-dependent plasticity, the brains of professional musicians have been extensively studied to examine structural and functional adaptation to unique requirements of skilled performance. Here we provide a combination of data on motor performance and hand representation in the primary motor and somatosensory cortex of professional violin players, with the aim of assessing possible behavioural consequences of sensorimotor cortical asymmetries. We studied 15 healthy right-handed professional violin players and 35 healthy nonmusician controls. Motor and somatosensory cortex asymmetry was assessed by recording the motor output map after transcranial magnetic stimulation from a small hand muscle, and by dipole source localization of somatosensory evoked potentials after electrical stimulation of the median and ulnar nerves. Motor performance was examined using a series of standardized motor tasks covering different aspects of hand function. Violin players showed a significant right-larger-than-left asymmetry of the motor and somatosensory cortex, whereas nonmusician controls showed no significant interhemispheric difference. The amount of asymmetry in the motor and somatosensory cortices of musicians was significantly correlated. At the behavioural level, motor performance did not significantly differ between musicians and nonmusicians. The results support a use-dependent enlargement of the left hand representation in the sensorimotor cortex of violin players. However, these cortical asymmetries were not paralleled by accompanying altered asymmetries at a behavioural level, suggesting that the reorganisation might be task-specific and does not lead to improved motor abilities in general.

  14. Cognitive and developmental influences in visual-motor integration skills in young children.

    PubMed

    Decker, Scott L; Englund, Julia A; Carboni, Jessica A; Brooks, Janell H

    2011-12-01

    Measures of visual-motor integration skills continue to be widely used in psychological assessments with children. However, the construct validity of many visual-motor integration measures remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the relative contributions of maturation and cognitive skills to the development of visual-motor integration skills in young children (N = 856). We used a block regression analysis to determine the contribution of maturation, as indicated by age, followed by broad cognitive factors (Study 1) and subsequently by individual subtests in verbal and nonverbal domains subsumed under each factor (Study 2) in explaining score variance of the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test (2nd ed.; BG-II; Brannigan & Decker, 2003) Copy and Recall scores in children between the ages of 4 and 7 years. Results confirm that maturation accounted for a large proportion of variance in both BG-II Copy and Recall performance, above which Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (5th ed.; SB-5; Roid, 2003) Quantitative Reasoning and Fluid Reasoning factors significantly contributed to visual-motor integration performance for the Copy phase, and SB-5 Quantitative Reasoning and Visual-Spatial factors accounted for a significant amount of variance for the Recall phase. Additionally, nonverbal domains were more related to visual-motor performance than verbal domains. Results from this study are interpreted to suggest nonverbal reasoning and visual-spatial attention are important contributing factors to visual-motor integration, as measured by the BG-II. Developmental implications of visual-motor integration skills, nonverbal problem solving, and mathematical competence are discussed.

  15. Cerebellar development and plasticity: perspectives for motor coordination strategies, for motor skills, and for therapy.

    PubMed

    Swinny, J D; van der Want, J J L; Gramsbergen, A

    2005-01-01

    The role of the mammalian cerebellum ranges from motor coordination, sensory-motor integration, motor learning, and timing to nonmotor functions such as cognition. In terms of motor function, the development of the cerebellum is of particular interest because animal studies show that the development of the cerebellar cortical circuitry closely parallels motor coordination. Ultrastructural analysis of the morphological development of the cerebellar circuitry, coupled with the temporal and spatial identification of the neurochemical substrates expressed during development, will help to elucidate their roles in the establishment of the cerebellar circuitry and hence motor activity. Furthermore, the convenience of a number of naturally occurring mouse mutations has allowed a functional dissection of the various cellular elements that make up the cerebellar circuitry. This understanding will also help in the approach to possible therapies of pathologies arising during development because the cerebellum is especially prone to such perturbation because of its late development.

  16. Training of Perceptual Motor Skills in Minimally Brain Damaged Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glazer, Hilda Ruth; Cox, David L.

    Twenty-five male (aged 7 years, 6 months to 10 years, 7 months) and five female (aged 9 years, 3 months to 10 years, 2 months) minimally brain damaged children were examined to determine feasibility of perceptual motor training on the pursuit rotor (which requires Ss to track a light as it revolves under a pattern on a turntable). Experimental Ss…

  17. Computer-assisted design in perceptual-motor skills research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, C. A., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    A categorization was made of independent variables previously found to be potent in simple perceptual-motor tasks. A computer was then used to generate hypothetical factorial designs. These were evaluated in terms of literature trends and pragmatic criteria. Potential side-effects of machine-assisted research strategy were discussed.

  18. Motor Skill Learning in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bo, Jin; Lee, Chi-Mei

    2013-01-01

    Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are characterized as having motor difficulties and learning impairment that may last well into adolescence and adulthood. Although behavioral deficits have been identified in many domains such as visuo-spatial processing, kinesthetic perception, and cross-modal sensory integration, recent…

  19. A goal-based mechanism for delayed motor intention: considerations from motor skills, tool use and action memory.

    PubMed

    Badets, Arnaud; Osiurak, François

    2015-05-01

    Thinking about our behaviors for a future recall like playing a piano sonata during the next weekend (i.e., delayed motor intention) should engage at some level sensorimotor-based representations. Theoretically, such representations can be stored through both an action- and a goal-based mechanism. An action-based mechanism is related to the specific motor sequence of fingers like the key presses on the piano, and a goal-based mechanism is related to the musical tones generated by the key presses. From these considerations, the present article tries to explore whether the cognitive nature of delayed motor intention is more based on an action or goal mechanism. We reviewed empirical evidence and theoretical accounts of different domains such as motor skills, tool use, and action memory supporting the idea that such delayed motor intentions are rather represented through a goal-based mechanism. The specific role of this goal-based mechanism is to envision the future in an implementation-neutral mode to flexibly and efficiently retrieve an adapted action to environmental constraints. This goal-based account offers an interesting alternative to reshape the classical models about the representations of delayed motor intention. We also discuss how this account can be applied to practical activities in daily life situations.

  20. Sleep-Dependent Reactivation of Ensembles in Motor Cortex Promotes Skill Consolidation

    PubMed Central

    Ramanathan, Dhakshin S.; Gulati, Tanuj; Ganguly, Karunesh

    2015-01-01

    Despite many prior studies demonstrating offline behavioral gains in motor skills after sleep, the underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. To investigate the neurophysiological basis for offline gains, we performed single-unit recordings in motor cortex as rats learned a skilled upper-limb task. We found that sleep improved movement speed with preservation of accuracy. These offline improvements were linked to both replay of task-related ensembles during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and temporal shifts that more tightly bound motor cortical ensembles to movements; such offline gains and temporal shifts were not evident with sleep restriction. Interestingly, replay was linked to the coincidence of slow-wave events and bursts of spindle activity. Neurons that experienced the most consistent replay also underwent the most significant temporal shift and binding to the motor task. Significantly, replay and the associated performance gains after sleep only occurred when animals first learned the skill; continued practice during later stages of learning (i.e., after motor kinematics had stabilized) did not show evidence of replay. Our results highlight how replay of synchronous neural activity during sleep mediates large-scale neural plasticity and stabilizes kinematics during early motor learning. PMID:26382320

  1. Motor Skills of Children with Unilateral Visual Impairment in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study

    PubMed Central

    Celano, Marianne; Hartmann, E. Eugenie; DuBois, Lindreth G.; Drews-Botsch, Carolyn

    2016-01-01

    Aim To assess motor functioning in 4.5 year olds enrolled in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, and to determine contributions of visual acuity and stereopsis to measured motor skills. Method Children with unilateral aphakia randomized to intraocular lens (IOL) or contact lens (CL) treatment were evaluated at 4.5 years for monocular recognition visual acuity, motor skills, and stereopsis by a traveling examiner masked to treatment condition. Motor skills were assessed with the Movement ABC-2. Visual acuity was operationalized as logMAR value for treated eye, best logMAR value for either eye, and intraocular logMAR difference. Results T-tests showed no significant differences in MABC-2 scores between the IOL and CL groups. The mean total score was low (6.43; 18th percentile) compared to the normative reference group. Motor functioning was not related to visual acuity in the treated eye or to intraocular logMAR difference, but was predicted in a regression model by the better visual acuity of either eye (usually the fellow eye), even after accounting for the influence of age at surgery, examiner, orthotropic ocular alignment, and stereopsis. Interpretation Children with unilateral congenital cataract may have delayed motor functioning at 4.5 years, which may adversely affect their social and academic functioning. PMID:26084944

  2. Sleep-Dependent Reactivation of Ensembles in Motor Cortex Promotes Skill Consolidation.

    PubMed

    Ramanathan, Dhakshin S; Gulati, Tanuj; Ganguly, Karunesh

    2015-01-01

    Despite many prior studies demonstrating offline behavioral gains in motor skills after sleep, the underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. To investigate the neurophysiological basis for offline gains, we performed single-unit recordings in motor cortex as rats learned a skilled upper-limb task. We found that sleep improved movement speed with preservation of accuracy. These offline improvements were linked to both replay of task-related ensembles during non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and temporal shifts that more tightly bound motor cortical ensembles to movements; such offline gains and temporal shifts were not evident with sleep restriction. Interestingly, replay was linked to the coincidence of slow-wave events and bursts of spindle activity. Neurons that experienced the most consistent replay also underwent the most significant temporal shift and binding to the motor task. Significantly, replay and the associated performance gains after sleep only occurred when animals first learned the skill; continued practice during later stages of learning (i.e., after motor kinematics had stabilized) did not show evidence of replay. Our results highlight how replay of synchronous neural activity during sleep mediates large-scale neural plasticity and stabilizes kinematics during early motor learning.

  3. Teaching Practices that Promote Motor Skills in Early Childhood Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Leah E.; Webster, E. Kipling; Logan, S. Wood; Lucas, W. Amarie; Barber, Laura T.

    2012-01-01

    Early childhood educators, especially those in preschool centers, are often expected to design and implement movement programs. However, these individuals may not have been taught these skills during their education. The purpose of this study was to determine if early childhood majors could successfully be taught to implement a mastery climate…

  4. Comparison of performance on process- and product-oriented assessments of fundamental motor skills across childhood.

    PubMed

    Logan, Samuel W; Barnett, Lisa M; Goodway, Jacqueline D; Stodden, David F

    2017-04-01

    Process-oriented motor competence (MC) assessments evaluate how a movement is performed. Product-oriented assessments evaluate the outcome of a movement. Determining the concurrent validity of process and product assessments is important to address the predictive utility of motor competence for health. The current study aimed to: (1) compare process and product assessments of the standing long jump, hop and throw across age groups and (2) determine the capacity of process assessments to classify levels of MC. Participants included 170 children classified into three age groups: 4-5, 7-8 and 10-11 years old. Participants' skills were examined concurrently using three process assessments ((Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd edition [TGMD-2]), Get Skilled; Get Active, and developmental sequences) and one product measure (throw speed, jump and hop distance). Results indicate moderate to strong correlations between (1) process assessments across skills and age groups (r range = .37-70) and (2) process and product assessments across skills and age groups (r range = .26-.88). In general, sensitivity to detect advanced skill level is lowest for TGMD-2 and highest for developmental sequences for all three skills. The use of process and product assessments is suggested to comprehensively capture levels of MC in human movement.

  5. Strengthening Teacher Preparation for Motor Performance Skill Development--Motor Processes Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Connie

    In a study of beginning collegiate volleyball players, two classes were assigned to a traditional approach, and two to a Motor Processes Approach. Following 8 weeks of instruction, the Motor Processes classes were significantly better on the set, serve, and pass, and were more knowledgeable. Students indicated that they believed they learned equal…

  6. Sensory processing and motor skill performance in elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ting

    2013-02-01

    Research to examine both sensory processing and motor skill performance in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. This study assessed whether children with ASD would show sensory and motor delays compared to typically developing children and examined the relationship between sensory processing and motor performance. 32 children diagnosed with ASD were assessed using the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and the Movement ABC-2 (MABC-2). The SSP measures children's sensory processing in daily life and the MABC-2 measures children's fine and gross motor skill performance. Overall, the samples' scores on the SSP indicated atypical sensory processing and scores on the MABC-2 showed poorer fine and gross motor performance as compared to age-matched norms. Furthermore, the samples' scores for sensory processing were positively correlated with their motor performance. The results suggest that fine and gross motor difficulties of children with ASD may be related to their delayed sensory processing to visual, auditory, tactile, and movement stimuli, and that this hypothesis needs to be tested in future research.

  7. Whole body heat stress increases motor cortical excitability and skill acquisition in humans

    PubMed Central

    Littmann, Andrew E.; Shields, Richard K.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Vigorous systemic exercise stimulates a cascade of molecular and cellular processes that enhance central nervous system (CNS) plasticity and performance. The influence of heat stress on CNS performance and learning is novel. We designed two experiments to determine whether passive heat stress 1) facilitated motor cortex excitability and 2) improved motor task acquisition compared to no heat stress. Methods Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from the first dorsal interosseus (FDI) were collected before and after 30 minutes of heat stress at 73° C. A second cohort of subjects performed a motor learning task using the FDI either following heat or the no heat condition. Results Heat stress increased heart rate to 65% of age-predicted maximum. After heat, mean resting MEP amplitude increased 48% (P < 0.05). MEP stimulus-response amplitudes did not differ according to stimulus intensity. In the second experiment, heat stress caused a significant decrease in absolute and variable error (p < 0.05) during a novel movement task using the FDI. Conclusions Passive environmental heat stress 1) increases motor cortical excitability, and 2) enhances performance in a motor skill acquisition task. Significance Controlled heat stress may prime the CNS to enhance motor skill acquisition during rehabilitation. PMID:26616546

  8. Relationship between writing skills and visual-motor control in low-vision students.

    PubMed

    Atasavun Uysal, Songül; Aki, Esra

    2012-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between handwriting skills and visual motor control among students with low vision and to compare this with the performance of their normal sighted peers. 42 students with low vision and 26 normal sighted peers participated. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Motor Proficiency Test-Short Form (BOTMP-SF), Jebsen Taylor Hand Function Test's writing subtest, and a legibility assessment were administered. Significant differences were found between groups for students' writing speed, legibility, and visual motor control. Visual motor control was correlated both writing speed and legibility. Students with low vision had poorer handwriting performance, with lower legibility and slower writing speed. Writing performance time was related to visual motor control in students with low vision.

  9. The Written Communication Skills That Matter Most for Accountants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Tracey J.; Simons, Kathleen A.

    2016-01-01

    Given the importance of effective written communication skills to the discipline of accounting, faculty must emphasize these skills in their classroom in order to adequately prepare students for successful careers in the field. Since 2000, only two studies in the accounting literature have examined which written communication skills are needed by…

  10. Mental practice promotes motor anticipation: evidence from skilled music performance

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, Nicolò F.; De Buglio, Matteo; Trimarchi, Pietro D.; Chielli, Alfonso; Bricolo, Emanuela

    2013-01-01

    Mental practice (MP) has been shown to improve movement accuracy and velocity, but it is not known whether MP can also optimize movement timing. We addressed this question by studying two groups of expert pianists who performed challenging music sequences after either MP or physical practice (PP). Performance and motion-capture data were collected along with responses to imagery questionnaires. The results showed that MP produced performance improvements, although to a lower degree than PP did. MP and PP induced changes in both movement velocity and movement timing, promoting the emergence of movement anticipatory patterns. Furthermore, motor imagery was associated with greater changes in movement velocity, while auditory imagery was associated with greater movement anticipation. Data from a control group that was not allowed to practice confirmed that the changes in accuracy and kinematics were not due to mere repetition of the sequence during testing. This study provides the first evidence of an anticipatory control following MP and extends the present knowledge on the effectiveness of MP to a task of unparalleled motor complexity. The practical implications of MP in the motor domain are discussed. PMID:23970859

  11. A Matter of Time: Rapid Motor Memory Stabilization in Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Badir, Rodayna; Dorfberger, Shoshi; Karni, Avi

    2014-01-01

    Are children better than adults in acquiring new skills ("how-to" knowledge) because of a difference in skill memory consolidation? Here we tested the proposal that, as opposed to adults, children's memories for newly acquired skills are immune to interference by subsequent experience. The establishment of long-term memory for a…

  12. Effect of the Children’s Health Activity Motor Program on Motor Skills and Self-Regulation in Head Start Preschoolers: An Efficacy Trial

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Leah E.; Palmer, Kara K.; Bub, Kristen L.

    2016-01-01

    Self-regulatory skills are broadly defined as the ability to manage emotions, focus attention, and inhibit some behaviors while activating others in accordance with social expectations and are an established indicator of academic success. Growing evidence links motor skills and physical activity to self-regulation. This study examined the efficacy of a motor skills intervention (i.e., the Children’s Health Activity Motor Program, CHAMP) that is theoretically grounded in Achievement Goal Theory on motor skill performance and self-regulation in Head Start preschoolers. A sample of 113 Head Start preschoolers (Mage = 51.91 ± 6.5 months; 49.5% males) were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 68) or control (n = 45) program. CHAMP participants engaged in 15, 40-min sessions of a mastery climate intervention that focused on the development of motor skills over 5 weeks while control participants engaged in their normal outdoor recess period. The Delay of Gratification Snack Task was used to measure self-regulation and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition was used to assess motor skills. All measures were assessed prior to and following the intervention. Linear mixed models were fit for both self-regulation and motor skills. Results revealed a significant time × treatment interaction (p < 0.001). In regard to motor skills, post hoc comparisons found that all children improved their motor skills (p < 0.05), but the CHAMP group improved significantly more than the control group (p < 0.001). Children in CHAMP maintained their self-regulation scores across time, while children in the control group scored significantly lower than the CHAMP group at the posttest (p < 0.05). CHAMP is a mastery climate movement program that enhance skills associated with healthy development in children (i.e., motor skills and self-regulation). This efficacy trial provided evidence that CHAMP helped maintain delay of gratification in preschool

  13. Effect of the Children's Health Activity Motor Program on Motor Skills and Self-Regulation in Head Start Preschoolers: An Efficacy Trial.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Leah E; Palmer, Kara K; Bub, Kristen L

    2016-01-01

    Self-regulatory skills are broadly defined as the ability to manage emotions, focus attention, and inhibit some behaviors while activating others in accordance with social expectations and are an established indicator of academic success. Growing evidence links motor skills and physical activity to self-regulation. This study examined the efficacy of a motor skills intervention (i.e., the Children's Health Activity Motor Program, CHAMP) that is theoretically grounded in Achievement Goal Theory on motor skill performance and self-regulation in Head Start preschoolers. A sample of 113 Head Start preschoolers (Mage = 51.91 ± 6.5 months; 49.5% males) were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 68) or control (n = 45) program. CHAMP participants engaged in 15, 40-min sessions of a mastery climate intervention that focused on the development of motor skills over 5 weeks while control participants engaged in their normal outdoor recess period. The Delay of Gratification Snack Task was used to measure self-regulation and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition was used to assess motor skills. All measures were assessed prior to and following the intervention. Linear mixed models were fit for both self-regulation and motor skills. Results revealed a significant time × treatment interaction (p < 0.001). In regard to motor skills, post hoc comparisons found that all children improved their motor skills (p < 0.05), but the CHAMP group improved significantly more than the control group (p < 0.001). Children in CHAMP maintained their self-regulation scores across time, while children in the control group scored significantly lower than the CHAMP group at the posttest (p < 0.05). CHAMP is a mastery climate movement program that enhance skills associated with healthy development in children (i.e., motor skills and self-regulation). This efficacy trial provided evidence that CHAMP helped maintain delay of gratification in preschool

  14. Developing and Sustaining Provision for Children with Motor Skills Difficulties in Schools: The Role of Educational Psychologists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bond, Caroline; Cole, Marilyn; Fletcher, Judy; Noble, Jennifer; O'Connell, Maria

    2011-01-01

    The current paper outlines a three-year action research project with 39 schools in one inner city local authority. A local need to improve provision for children with motor skills difficulties resulted in a team of educational psychologists (EPs) and specialist teachers developing the Manchester Motor Skills Intervention (MMSI), which is a…

  15. Associations among Selected Motor Skills and Health-Related Fitness: Indirect Evidence for Seefeldt's Proficiency Barrier in Young Adults?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stodden, David F.; True, Larissa K.; Langendorfer, Stephen J.; Gao, Zan

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: This exploratory study examined the notion of Seefeldt's (1980) hypothesized motor skill "proficiency barrier" related to composite levels of health-related physical fitness (HRF) in young adults. Method: A motor skill competence (MSC) index composed of maximum throwing and kicking speed and jumping distance in 187 young adults…

  16. Motor skill learning enhances the expression of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein in the rat cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dean-Chuan; Lin, Yu-Yi; Chen, Tsan-Ju; Lin, Hwai-Ting

    2014-11-01

    Motor skill learning is essential for environmental adaptations during everyday life. It has been shown that the cerebellum plays an important role in both the adaptation of eye movements and the motor skill learning. However, the neuronal substrates responsible for consolidation of complex motor skills rather than simple reflexes are still uncertain. Because the induction of immediate-early genes activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) and zinc finger binding protein clone 268 (Zif268) has been regarded as a marker for recent neuronal activity, therefore, in the present study, a rat paradigm of motor skill learning was used to investigate the protein expression of Arc and zif268 in the cerebellum after motor skill learning. Rats were trained to traverse the runway apparatus for 5 days. Protein samples were collected from the cerebellar cortices 1 hour after the training on days 1, 3, and 5, and analyzed by western blotting. The results showed that the expression of Arc, but not zif268, was significantly increased in the cerebellum following motor skill learning. These findings suggest that motor skill learning induces Arc expression in the cerebellum, which may play a role in acquiring complex motor skills.

  17. Examining the Potential of Web-Based Multimedia to Support Complex Fine Motor Skill Learning: An Empirical Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papastergiou, Marina; Pollatou, Elisana; Theofylaktou, Ioannis; Karadimou, Konstantina

    2014-01-01

    Research on the utilization of the Web for complex fine motor skill learning that involves whole body movements is still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the introduction of a multimedia web-based learning environment, which was targeted at a rhythmic gymnastics routine consisting of eight fine motor skills, into an…

  18. The Relationship between Motor Skills Difficulties and Self-Esteem in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Literature Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lodal, Katherine; Bond, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Research findings indicate that there appears to be a relationship between poor motor skills and self-esteem, however this relationship is ambiguous. This review examines the effects of poor motor skills on global and/or domain specific self-esteem. Four databases, Google Scholar and the Manchester Online library were searched for articles…

  19. Associations between Low-Income Children's Fine Motor Skills in Preschool and Academic Performance in Second Grade

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dinehart, Laura; Manfra, Louis

    2013-01-01

    Research Findings: Given the growing literature pertaining to the importance of fine motor skills for later academic achievement (D. W. Grissmer, K. J. Grimm, S. M. Aiyer, W. M. Murrah, & J. S. Steele, 2010), the current study examines whether the fine motor skills of economically disadvantaged preschool students predict later academic…

  20. Changes in voice onset time and motor speech skills in children following motor speech therapy: Evidence from /pa/ productions.

    PubMed

    Yu, Vickie Y; Kadis, Darren S; Oh, Anna; Goshulak, Debra; Namasivayam, Aravind; Pukonen, Margit; Kroll, Robert; De Nil, Luc F; Pang, Elizabeth W

    2014-06-01

    This study evaluated changes in motor speech control and inter-gestural coordination for children with speech sound disorders (SSD) subsequent to Prompts for Restructuring Oral and Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) intervention. We measured the distribution patterns of voice onset time (VOT) for a voiceless stop (/p/) to examine the changes in inter-gestural coordination. Two standardized tests were used (Verbal Motor Production Assessment for Children (VMPAC), GFTA-2) to assess the changes in motor speech skills and articulation. Data showed positive changes in patterns of VOT with a lower pattern of variability. All children showed significantly higher scores for VMPAC, but only some children showed higher scores for GFTA-2. Results suggest that the proprioceptive feedback provided through PROMPT had a positive influence on speech motor control and inter-gestural coordination in voicing behavior. This set of VOT data for children with SSD adds to our understanding of the speech characteristics underlying speech motor control. Directions for future studies are discussed.

  1. Assessment of Perceptual Motor Skills Contribution to Psycho-Evaluation: Unit 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peabody, Albert D. Jr.

    2005-01-01

    According to (Koppitz, 1975) manual suggests, "the use of the BVMGT is a rough test of intelligence. The BVMGT is not an intelligence test but a measure of a child's skill in coping geometric designs. It provides a very limited sample of behavior. Although perceptual motor development has emerged as a very important instrument for the development…

  2. Self-Pacing a Gross Motor Skills Course: Crawler Tractor Operator, MOS 62E20.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brennan, Mark F.; Taylor, John E.

    As part of the Army's emphasis on performance-oriented instruction in training centers, a study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using self-paced instruction in a gross motor skills course. The Crawler Tractor Operator Course, a seven-week heavy equipment course conducted at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri was selected for the study…

  3. Effects of Peer Mediated Instruction with Task Cards on Motor Skill Acquisition in Tennis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iserbyt, Peter; Madou, Bob; Vergauwen, Lieven; Behets, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    This study compared the motor skill effects of a peer teaching format by means of task cards with a teacher-centered format. Tennis performance of eighth grade students (n = 55) was measured before and after a four week intervention period in a regular physical education program. Results show that peer mediated learning with task cards…

  4. Teaching Methods Effectiveness and the Acquisition of Psycho-Motor Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikulayo, Philomena Bolaji

    An experimental study was conducted to discover the relative effectiveness of five different instructional strategies on the acquisition of four psycho-motor skills associated with four physical sports (continuous volleying in volleyball, zig-zag dribbling in field hockey, headstand in gymnastics, and sail long jump in athletics). The subjects…

  5. Effects of Interventions Based in Behavior Analysis on Motor Skill Acquisition: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alstot, Andrew E.; Kang, Minsoo; Alstot, Crystal D.

    2013-01-01

    Techniques based in applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been shown to be useful across a variety of settings to improve numerous behaviors. Specifically within physical activity settings, several studies have examined the effect of interventions based in ABA on a variety of motor skills, but the overall effects of these interventions are unknown.…

  6. The Effects of Collectivism-Individualism on the Cooperative Learning of Motor Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Yi; Sun, Yan; Strobel, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    This study examined how cultural background (collectivism vs. individualism) affects motor skill learning in a dyadic cooperative learning environment. The research context of this study was Nintendo™ Wii Tennis. Twenty college students from a Midwestern university participated in the study, among whom half were from an individualistic culture…

  7. Adolescents' School-Related Self-Concept Mediates Motor Skills and Psychosocial Well-Being

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viholainen, Helena; Aro, Tuija; Purtsi, Jarno; Tolvanen, Asko; Cantell, Marja

    2014-01-01

    Background: The health benefits of exercise participation and physical activity for mental health and psychosocial well-being (PSWB) have been shown in several studies. However, one important background factor, that is, motor skills (MSs), has largely been ignored. In addition, most of the existing research focuses on poor MSs, that is, poor MSs…

  8. Motor Skill Performance of Children and Adolescents with Visual Impairments: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houwen, Suzanne; Visscher, Chris; Lemmink, Koen A. P. M.; Hartman, Esther

    2009-01-01

    This article reviews studies on variables that are related to the motor skill performance of children and adolescents with visual impairments (VI). Three major groups of variables are considered (child, environmental, and task). Thirty-nine studies are included in this review, 26 of which examined the effects of child, environmental, and/or task…

  9. Basic Motor Skills Instruction for Children with Neuromotor Delays: A Critical Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horn, Eva M.

    1991-01-01

    This paper analyzes the methodology and effectiveness of the training approaches implemented in 28 empirical studies on basic motor skills instruction for children with neuromotor delays. For all types of training approaches (neuromotor interventions, sensory integration techniques, behavioral programing, and naturalistic programing), assessment…

  10. Systems in Development: Motor Skill Acquisition Facilitates Three-Dimensional Object Completion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soska, Kasey C.; Adolph, Karen E.; Johnson, Scott P.

    2010-01-01

    How do infants learn to perceive the backs of objects that they see only from a limited viewpoint? Infants' 3-dimensional object completion abilities emerge in conjunction with developing motor skills--independent sitting and visual-manual exploration. Infants at 4.5 to 7.5 months of age (n = 28) were habituated to a limited-view object and tested…

  11. The Use of Cognitive Strategies To Enhance Motor Skill Acquisition and Retention in the Elderly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anshel, Mark H.

    It has been hypothesized that the use of techniques to enhance motor skill acquisition and retention in the elderly may retard the onset of retirement, result in the continuation of a productive professional career, allow continued participation in recreational activities, and possibly slow the decline in physiological functions that normally…

  12. Improvement of fine motor skills in children with visual impairment: an explorative study.

    PubMed

    Reimer, A M; Cox, R F A; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, M W G; Boonstra, F N

    2011-01-01

    In this study we analysed the potential spin-off of magnifier training on the fine-motor skills of visually impaired children. The fine-motor skills of 4- and 5-year-old visually impaired children were assessed using the manual skills test for children (6-12 years) with a visual impairment (ManuVis) and movement assessment for children (Movement ABC), before and after receiving a 12-sessions training within a 6-weeks period. The training was designed to practice the use of a stand magnifier, as part of a larger research project on low-vision aids. In this study, fifteen children trained with a magnifier; seven without. Sixteen children had nystagmus. In this group head orientation (ocular torticollis) was monitored. Results showed an age-related progress in children's fine-motor skills after the training, irrespective of magnifier condition: performance speed of the ManuVis items went from 333.4s to 273.6s on average. Accuracy in the writing tasks also increased. Finally, for the children with nystagmus, an increase of ocular torticollis was found. These results suggest a careful reconsideration of which intervention is most effective for enhancing perceptuomotor performance in visually impaired children: specific 'fine-motor' training or 'non-specific' visual-attention training with a magnifier.

  13. A Literature Review on Observational Learning for Medical Motor Skills and Anesthesia Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cordovani, Ligia; Cordovani, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Motor skill practice is very important to improve performance of medical procedures and could be enhanced by observational practice. Observational learning could be particularly important in the medical field considering that patients' safety prevails over students' training. The mechanism of observational learning is based on the mirror neuron…

  14. Preschool Children's Fundamental Motor Skills: A Review of Significant Determinants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iivonen, S.; Sääkslahti, A. K.

    2014-01-01

    Fundamental motor skills (FMS) affect children's physical, social, and cognitive development. To plan successful interventions when promoting the development of children's FMS, the underlying positive determinants for the acquisition of FMS competence during preschool years need to be identified. The purpose of this systematic review was…

  15. Developing Learning Readiness; A Visual-Motor-Tactile Skills Program. Teacher's Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getman, G.N.; And Others

    A flexible program for preschool, primary grades, or remedial classes provides opportunities for the child to achieve readiness for learning through the development of visual, motor, and tactile skills. A cardboard doll is discussed which may be utilized by the teacher and children in a variety of gymnasium routines to increase knowledge of body…

  16. The Effectiveness of a Web-Based Motor Skill Assessment Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelly, Luke E.; Moran, Thomas E.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a web-based, intereactive video assessment program on teaching preservice physical education majors to assess the motor skill of kicking. The program provided component specific feedback through tutorial, guided practice, and competency training options. The 72 participants were…

  17. Do Nimble Hands Make for Nimble Lexicons? Fine Motor Skills Predict Knowledge of Embodied Vocabulary Items

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suggate, Sebastian P.; Stoeger, Heidrun

    2014-01-01

    Theories and research in embodied cognition postulate that cognition grounded in action enjoys a processing advantage. Extending this theory to the study of how fine motor skills (FMS) link to vocabulary development in preschool children, the authors investigated FMS and vocabulary in 76 preschoolers. Building on previous research, they…

  18. The Carter Neurocognitive Assessment for Children with Severely Compromised Expressive Language and Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leevers, Hilary J.; Roesler, Cynthia P.; Flax, Judy; Benasich, April A.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper, different means of assessing cognitive development in children with severe impairments in "both" their expressive language and their motor skills are reviewed. A range of techniques are considered, including traditional cognitive tests and behavioral and physiological measures, but these techniques are generally impractical and…

  19. Assessing Motor Skills as a Differentiating Feature between High Functioning Autism and Asperger's Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cid, Maria R.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to investigate if motor skills could be used as a differentiating feature between Asperger's Disorder (AD) and High Functioning (HFA) in children under the age of 9 years, 0 months, in order to provide additional information regarding the usefulness and validity of distinguishing these two disorders. There is…

  20. Content Evaluation and Development of Videotapes Demonstrating Regional Anesthesia Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warwick, Pamela M.; Ravin, Mark B.

    1975-01-01

    A study is reported which evaluated the content of three instructional videotapes designed to impart information and to demonstrate regional (spinal, epidural, and caudal) anesthesia motor skills. Pretest-posttest results demonstrated that the tapes successfully met predetermined criteria. Advantages of the method for medical student instruction…

  1. Goal Scoring in Soccer: A Polar Coordinate Analysis of Motor Skills Used by Lionel Messi.

    PubMed

    Castañer, Marta; Barreira, Daniel; Camerino, Oleguer; Anguera, M Teresa; Canton, Albert; Hileno, Raúl

    2016-01-01

    Soccer research has traditionally focused on technical and tactical aspects of team play, but few studies have analyzed motor skills in individual actions, such as goal scoring. The objective of this study was to investigate how Lionel Messi, one of the world's top soccer players, uses his motor skills and laterality in individual attacking actions resulting in a goal. We analyzed 103 goals scored by Messi between over a decade in three competitions: La Liga (n = 74), Copa del Rey (n = 8), and the UEFA Champions League (n = 21). We used an ad-hoc observation instrument (OSMOS-soccer player) comprising 10 criteria and 50 categories; polar coordinate analysis, a powerful data reduction technique, revealed significant associations for body part and orientation, foot contact zone, turn direction, and locomotion. No significant associations were observed for pitch area or interaction with opponents. Our analysis confirms significant associations between different aspects of motor skill use by Messi immediately before scoring, namely use of lower limbs, foot contact zones, turn direction, use of wings, and orientation of body to move toward the goal. Studies of motor skills in soccer could shed light on the qualities that make certain players unique.

  2. Goal Scoring in Soccer: A Polar Coordinate Analysis of Motor Skills Used by Lionel Messi

    PubMed Central

    Castañer, Marta; Barreira, Daniel; Camerino, Oleguer; Anguera, M. Teresa; Canton, Albert; Hileno, Raúl

    2016-01-01

    Soccer research has traditionally focused on technical and tactical aspects of team play, but few studies have analyzed motor skills in individual actions, such as goal scoring. The objective of this study was to investigate how Lionel Messi, one of the world's top soccer players, uses his motor skills and laterality in individual attacking actions resulting in a goal. We analyzed 103 goals scored by Messi between over a decade in three competitions: La Liga (n = 74), Copa del Rey (n = 8), and the UEFA Champions League (n = 21). We used an ad-hoc observation instrument (OSMOS-soccer player) comprising 10 criteria and 50 categories; polar coordinate analysis, a powerful data reduction technique, revealed significant associations for body part and orientation, foot contact zone, turn direction, and locomotion. No significant associations were observed for pitch area or interaction with opponents. Our analysis confirms significant associations between different aspects of motor skill use by Messi immediately before scoring, namely use of lower limbs, foot contact zones, turn direction, use of wings, and orientation of body to move toward the goal. Studies of motor skills in soccer could shed light on the qualities that make certain players unique. PMID:27303357

  3. Deficits in Fine Motor Skills and Their Influence on Persistence among Gifted Elementary School Pupils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoeger, Heidrun; Ziegler, Albert

    2013-01-01

    This article addresses the causes of underachievement in scholastic education. Whereas many studies have been able to show that motivational deficits provide an explanation for underachievement, little research has yet explored the possible influences of deficits in fine motor skills. The aim of our empirical study was, therefore, to investigate…

  4. Using Video-Based Modeling to Promote Acquisition of Fundamental Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Obrusnikova, Iva; Rattigan, Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Video-based modeling is becoming increasingly popular for teaching fundamental motor skills to children in physical education. Two frequently used video-based instructional strategies that incorporate modeling are video prompting (VP) and video modeling (VM). Both strategies have been used across multiple disciplines and populations to teach a…

  5. Fine Motor Skill Predicts Expressive Language in Infant Siblings of Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LeBarton, Eve Sauer; Iverson, Jana M.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated whether fine motor and expressive language skills are related in the later-born siblings of children with autism (heightened-risk, HR infants) who are at increased risk for language delays. We observed 34 HR infants longitudinally from 12 to 36 months. We used parent report and standardized observation measures to assess fine motor…

  6. Get Kids Moving: Simple Activities To Build Gross-Motor Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas Child Care, 2003

    2003-01-01

    Highlights the importance of activities to build gross motor skills and provides hints for encouraging such activities. Specific areas of activities presented are: (1) running and jumping; (2) music games; (3) action games; (4) races; (5) bed sheets or parachutes; (6) hula hoops; (7) balls; (8) batting; (9) balance; and (10) creative movement. (SD)

  7. Motor Skills in Children Aged 7-10 Years, Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whyatt, Caroline P.; Craig, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    This study used the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC2) to assess motor skills in children aged 7-10 years with autism (n = 18) in comparison to two groups of age-matched typically developing children; a receptive vocabulary matched group (n = 19) and a nonverbal IQ matched group (n = 22). The results supported previous work, as…

  8. Effectiveness of a fundamental motor skill intervention for 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Emily; Balogh, Robert; Lloyd, Meghann

    2015-11-01

    A wait-list control experimental design was employed to investigate the effectiveness of a fundamental motor skill intervention at improving the motor skills, adaptive behavior, and social skills of 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (experimental n = 5, control n = 4); the impact of intervention intensity was also explored. The experimental group significantly improved their object manipulation and overall motor scores from pre- to post-intervention. The wait-list control design revealed no group-by-time interactions; however, with the groups combined time was a significant factor for all motor variables. There were no significant changes in adaptive behavior and social skills. These preliminary findings suggest that a fundamental motor skill intervention may benefit young children with autism spectrum disorder. Future research with larger samples is warranted.

  9. Aging and longitudinal change in perceptual-motor skill acquisition in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Rodrigue, Karen M; Kennedy, Kristen M; Raz, Naftali

    2005-07-01

    Knowledge about aging of perceptual-motor skills is based almost exclusively on cross-sectional studies. We examined age-related changes in the retention of mirror-tracing skills in healthy adults who practiced for 3 separate days at baseline and retrained 5 years later at follow-up. Overall, the speed and accuracy of an acquired skill were partially retained after a 5-year interim, although the same asymptote was reached. Analyses with individual learning curves indicated that the effects of age on mirror-tracing speed were greater at longitudinal follow-up than at baseline, with older adults requiring more training to reach asymptote. Thus, although the long-term retention of acquired skills declines with age, older adults still retain the ability to learn the skill. Moreover, those who maintained a processing speed comparable with that of the younger participants evidenced no age-related performance decrements on the mirror-drawing task.

  10. Memory and motor skill components of the WAIS-III Digit Symbol-Coding subtest.

    PubMed

    Kreiner, D S; Ryan, J J

    2001-02-01

    We examined motor skill and memory components of the Digit Symbol-Coding subtest of the WAIS-III in a clinical sample. Research using previous versions of the WAIS in non-clinical samples has suggested that the age-related decline in Digit Symbol-Coding scores is more related to motor ability rather than to the memory requirements of the test. Our results extend this conclusion to a clinical sample, using the WAIS-II. Copy scores measure motor skill on the Digit Symbol-Coding subtest, and Incidental Learning scores (Free Recall and Pairing) measure memory. A large proportion of Digit Symbol-Coding variance was explained by Copy scores with Incidental Learning scores controlled, but Incidental Learning scores explained little additional variance when Copy scores were controlled. The same pattern was found when we used the Immediate Memory and General Memory Indexes from the Wechsler Memory Scale-II as independent measures of memory.

  11. Effects of Long-Duration Microgravity on Fine Motor Skills: ISS One-Year Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holden, Kritina; Greene, Maya; Cross, Ernest

    2017-01-01

    Fine motor skills will be critical in future long-duration missions, particularly those skills needed to interact with advanced technologies in next-generation vehicles, spacesuits, and habitats. Studies to date on the effects of microgravity and gravitational transitions on fine motor performance have not yielded conclusive results. Datasets are incomplete-timeline gaps in the microgravity data sessions. Studies have not focused on the fine motor actions that are likely to be required for interacting with software displays and controls (pointing, clicking, dragging, multi-touch/pinching). The majority of studies have used a joystick or arm reaching task. Touchscreen tablets are already in use on ISS, and at least one commercial partner is already planning a cockpit with touchscreens as the primary means of input. We must ensure that crewmembers are ready to perform with computer-based devices after a long-duration voyage and transition to surface operations.

  12. Fine motor skills and early comprehension of the world: two new school readiness indicators.

    PubMed

    Grissmer, David; Grimm, Kevin J; Aiyer, Sophie M; Murrah, William M; Steele, Joel S

    2010-09-01

    Duncan et al. (2007) presented a new methodology for identifying kindergarten readiness factors and quantifying their importance by determining which of children's developing skills measured around kindergarten entrance would predict later reading and math achievement. This article extends Duncan et al.'s work to identify kindergarten readiness factors with 6 longitudinal data sets. Their results identified kindergarten math and reading readiness and attention as the primary long-term predictors but found no effects from social skills or internalizing and externalizing behavior. We incorporated motor skills measures from 3 of the data sets and found that fine motor skills are an additional strong predictor of later achievement. Using one of the data sets, we also predicted later science scores and incorporated an additional early test of general knowledge of the social and physical world as a predictor. We found that the test of general knowledge was by far the strongest predictor of science and reading and also contributed significantly to predicting later math, making the content of this test another important kindergarten readiness indicator. Together, attention, fine motor skills, and general knowledge are much stronger overall predictors of later math, reading, and science scores than early math and reading scores alone.

  13. Social-comparative feedback affects motor skill learning.

    PubMed

    Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Wulf, Gabriele

    2010-04-01

    This study examined motivational effects of feedback on motor learning. Specifically, we investigated the influence of social-comparative feedback on the learning of a balance task (stabilometer). In addition to veridical feedback (error scores reflecting deviation from the target horizontal platform position) about their own performance after each trial, two groups received false normative information about the "average" score of others on that trial. Average performance scores indicated that the participant's performance was either above (better group) or below (worse group) the average, respectively. A control group received veridical feedback about trial performance without normative feedback. Learning as a function of social-comparative feedback was determined in a retention test without feedback, performed on a third day following two days of practice. Normative feedback affected the learning of the balance task: The better group demonstrated more effective balance performance than both the worse and control groups on the retention test. Furthermore, high-frequency/low-amplitude balance adjustments, indicative of more automatic control of movement, were greater in the better than in the worse group. The control group exhibited more limited learning and less automaticity than both the better and the worse groups. The findings indicate that positive normative feedback had a facilitatory effect on motor learning.

  14. Motor Skills of Children Newly Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Prior to and Following Treatment with Stimulant Medication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brossard-Racine, Marie; Shevell, Michael; Snider, Laurie; Belanger, Stacey Ageranioti; Majnemer, Annette

    2012-01-01

    Motor difficulties are common in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although preliminary evidence has suggested that methylphenidate can improve the motor skills in children with ADHD and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), the effect of stimulant medication on motor performance in children newly diagnosed with…

  15. Influence of self-controlled feedback on learning a serial motor skill.

    PubMed

    Lim, Soowoen; Ali, Asif; Kim, Wonchan; Kim, Jingu; Choi, Sungmook; Radlo, Steven J

    2015-04-01

    Self-controlled feedback on a variety of tasks are well established as effective means of facilitating motor skill learning. This study assessed the effects of self-controlled feedback on the performance of a serial motor skill. The task was to learn the sequence of 18 movements that make up the Taekwondo Poomsae Taegeuk first, which is the first beginner's practice form learned in this martial art. Twenty-four novice female participants (M age=27.2 yr., SD=1.8) were divided into two groups. All participants performed 16 trials in 4 blocks of the acquisition phase and 20 hr. later, 8 trials in 2 blocks of the retention phase. The self-controlled feedback group had significantly higher performance compared to the yoked-feedback group with regard to acquisition and retention. The results of this study may contribute to the literature regarding feedback by extending the usefulness of self-controlled feedback for learning a serial skill.

  16. Dopamine-dependent reinforcement of motor skill learning: evidence from Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Stefano; Lebreton, Maël; Worbe, Yulia; Hartmann, Andreas; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Vidailhet, Marie; Grabli, David; Pessiglione, Mathias

    2011-08-01

    Reinforcement learning theory has been extensively used to understand the neural underpinnings of instrumental behaviour. A central assumption surrounds dopamine signalling reward prediction errors, so as to update action values and ensure better choices in the future. However, educators may share the intuitive idea that reinforcements not only affect choices but also motor skills such as typing. Here, we employed a novel paradigm to demonstrate that monetary rewards can improve motor skill learning in humans. Indeed, healthy participants progressively got faster in executing sequences of key presses that were repeatedly rewarded with 10 euro compared with 1 cent. Control tests revealed that the effect of reinforcement on motor skill learning was independent of subjects being aware of sequence-reward associations. To account for this implicit effect, we developed an actor-critic model, in which reward prediction errors are used by the critic to update state values and by the actor to facilitate action execution. To assess the role of dopamine in such computations, we applied the same paradigm in patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome, who were either unmedicated or treated with neuroleptics. We also included patients with focal dystonia, as an example of hyperkinetic motor disorder unrelated to dopamine. Model fit showed the following dissociation: while motor skills were affected in all patient groups, reinforcement learning was selectively enhanced in unmedicated patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and impaired by neuroleptics. These results support the hypothesis that overactive dopamine transmission leads to excessive reinforcement of motor sequences, which might explain the formation of tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome.

  17. Comparison of effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area in motor skill learning (randomized, cross over study).

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Kyun; Shin, Sung Hun

    2014-01-01

    Motor skills require quick visuomotor reaction time, fast movement time, and accurate performance. Primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor area (SMA) are closely related in learning motor skills. Also, it is well known that high frequency repeated transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on these sites has a facilitating effect. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of high frequency rTMS activation of these two brain sites on learning of motor skills. Twenty three normal volunteers participated. Subjects were randomly stimulated on either brain area, SMA or M1. The motor task required the learning of sequential finger movements, explicitly or implicitly. It consisted of pressing the keyboard sequentially with their right hand on seeing 7 digits on the monitor explicitly, and then tapping the 7 digits by memorization, implicitly. Subjects were instructed to hit the keyboard as fast and accurately as possible. Using Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI), the keyboard pressing task was measured before and after high frequency rTMS for motor performance, which was measured by response time (RT), movement time, and accuracy (AC). A week later, the same task was repeated by cross-over study design. At this time, rTMS was applied on the other brain area. Two-way ANOVA was used to assess the carry over time effect and stimulation sites (M1 and SMA), as factors. Results indicated that no carry-over effect was observed. The AC and RT were not different between the two stimulating sites (M1 and SMA). But movement time was significantly decreased after rTMS on both SMA and M1. The amount of shortened movement time after rTMS on SMA was significantly increased as compared to the movement time after rTMS on M1 (p < 0.05), especially for implicit learning of motor tasks. The coefficient of variation was lower in implicit trial than in explicit trial. In conclusion, this finding indicated an important role of SMA compared to M1, in implicit motor

  18. Immigrants Matter: Canada's Social Agenda on Skill and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mirchandani, Kiran

    2004-01-01

    Evidence shows that there is an increasing number of knowledge and management occupations in a broad range of sectors, requiring greater numbers of well-educated and skilled workers. Despite this compelling need for skilled workers, the reports note that immigrants often do not fare well in the Canadian economy. One of the main barriers faced by…

  19. Patient activation and advocacy: which literacy skills matter most?

    PubMed

    Martin, Laurie T; Schonlau, Matthias; Haas, Ann; Derose, Kathryn Pitkin; Rosenfeld, Lindsay; Buka, Stephen L; Rudd, Rima

    2011-01-01

    Attention to the effect of a patient's literacy skills on health care interactions is relatively new. So, too, are studies of either structural or personal factors that inhibit or support a patient's ability to navigate health services and systems and to advocate for their own needs within a service delivery system. Contributions of the structural environment, of interpersonal dynamics, and of a variety of psychological and sociological factors in the relationship between patients and providers have long been under study. Less frequently examined is the advocacy role expected of patients. However, the complex nature of health care in the United States increasingly requires a proactive stance. This study examined whether four literacy skills (reading, numeracy, speaking, and listening) were associated with patient self-advocacy--a component of health literacy itself--when faced with a hypothetical barrier to scheduling a medical appointment. Although all literacy skills were significantly associated with advocacy when examined in isolation, greater speaking and listening skills remained significantly associated with better patient advocacy when all four skills were examined simultaneously. These findings suggest that speaking and listening skills and support for such skills may be important factors to consider when developing patient activation and advocacy skills.

  20. Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians. Canada's Innovation Strategy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Human Resources Development Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).

    This paper outlines the skills and learning challenges that Canada faces to ensure it meets its skills and learning requirements for the 21st century. It proposes a series of national goals and milestones against which progress can be measured over time and reported on regularly to Canadians. Following an introduction, Sections 2-5 discuss the…

  1. Determinants of gross motor skill performance in children with visual impairments.

    PubMed

    Haibach, Pamela S; Wagner, Matthias O; Lieberman, Lauren J

    2014-10-01

    Children with visual impairments (CWVI) generally perform poorer in gross motor skills when compared with their sighted peers. This study examined the influence of age, sex, and severity of visual impairment upon locomotor and object control skills in CWVI. Participants included 100 CWVI from across the United States who completed the Test of Gross Motor Development II (TGMD-II). The TGMD-II consists of 12 gross motor skills including 6 object control skills (catching, kicking, striking, dribbling, throwing, and rolling) and 6 locomotor skills (running, sliding, galloping, leaping, jumping, and hopping). The full range of visual impairments according to United States Association for Blind Athletes (USABA; B3=20/200-20/599, legally blind; B2=20/600 and up, travel vision; B1=totally blind) were assessed. The B1 group performed significantly worse than the B2 (0.000 ≤ p ≤ 0.049) or B3 groups (0.000 ≤ p ≤ 0.005); however, there were no significant differences between B2 and B3 except for the run (p=0.006), catch (p=0.000), and throw (p=0.012). Age and sex did not play an important role in most of the skills, with the exception of boys outperforming girls striking (p=0.009), dribbling (p=0.013), and throwing (p=0.000), and older children outperforming younger children in dribbling (p=0.002). The significant impact of the severity of visual impairment is likely due to decreased experiences and opportunities for children with more severe visual impairments. In addition, it is likely that these reduced experiences explain the lack of age-related differences in the CWVI. The large disparities in performance between children who are blind and their partially sighted peers give direction for instruction and future research. In addition, there is a critical need for intentional and specific instruction on motor skills at a younger age to enable CWVI to develop their gross motor skills.

  2. Early gross motor skills predict the subsequent development of language in children with autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Pickles, Andrew; Lord, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Background: Motor milestones such as the onset of walking are important developmental markers, not only for later motor skills but also for more widespread social‐cognitive development. The aim of the current study was to test whether gross motor abilities, specifically the onset of walking, predicted the subsequent rate of language development in a large cohort of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Methods: We ran growth curve models for expressive and receptive language measured at 2, 3, 5 and 9 years in 209 autistic children. Measures of gross motor, visual reception and autism symptoms were collected at the 2 year visit. In Model 1, walking onset was included as a predictor of the slope of language development. Model 2 included a measure of non‐verbal IQ and autism symptom severity as covariates. The final model, Model 3, additionally covaried for gross motor ability. Results: In the first model, parent‐reported age of walking onset significantly predicted the subsequent rate of language development although the relationship became non‐significant when gross motor skill, non‐verbal ability and autism severity scores were included (Models 2 & 3). Gross motor score, however, did remain a significant predictor of both expressive and receptive language development. Conclusions: Taken together, the model results provide some evidence that early motor abilities in young children with ASD can have longitudinal cross‐domain influences, potentially contributing, in part, to the linguistic difficulties that characterise ASD. Autism Res 2016, 9: 993–1001. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research PMID:26692550

  3. A New Method for Tracking of Motor Skill Learning Through Practical Application of Fitts' Law

    PubMed Central

    Ashworth-Beaumont, Jim; Nowicky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT A novel upper limb motor skill measure, task productivity rate (TPR) was developed integrating speed and spatial error, delivered by a practical motor skill rehabilitation task (MSRT). This prototype task involved placement of 5 short pegs horizontally on a spatially configured rail array. The stability of TPR was tested on 18 healthy right-handed adults (10 women, 8 men, median age 29 years) in a prospective single-session quantitative within-subjects study design. Manipulations of movement rate 10% faster and slower relative to normative states did not significantly affect TPR, F(1.387, 25.009) = 2.465, p = .121. A significant linear association between completion time and error was highest during the normative state condition (Pearson's r = .455, p < .05). Findings provided evidence that improvements in TPR over time reflected motor learning with possible changes in coregulation behavior underlying practice under different conditions. These findings extend Fitts’ law theory to tracking of practical motor skill using a dexterity task, which could have potential clinical applications in rehabilitation. PMID:23581699

  4. A new method for tracking of motor skill learning through practical application of Fitts' law.

    PubMed

    Ashworth-Beaumont, Jim; Nowicky, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    A novel upper limb motor skill measure, task productivity rate (TPR) was developed integrating speed and spatial error, delivered by a practical motor skill rehabilitation task (MSRT). This prototype task involved placement of 5 short pegs horizontally on a spatially configured rail array. The stability of TPR was tested on 18 healthy right-handed adults (10 women, 8 men, median age 29 years) in a prospective single-session quantitative within-subjects study design. Manipulations of movement rate 10% faster and slower relative to normative states did not significantly affect TPR, F(1.387, 25.009) = 2.465, p = .121. A significant linear association between completion time and error was highest during the normative state condition (Pearson's r = .455, p < .05). Findings provided evidence that improvements in TPR over time reflected motor learning with possible changes in coregulation behavior underlying practice under different conditions. These findings extend Fitts' law theory to tracking of practical motor skill using a dexterity task, which could have potential clinical applications in rehabilitation.

  5. Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Motor Skills in Relation to Cognition and Academic Performance in Children – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Haapala, Eero A.

    2013-01-01

    Different elements of physical fitness in children have shown a declining trend during the past few decades. Cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills have been associated with cognition, but the magnitude of this association remains unknown. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the relationship of cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills with cognitive functions and academic performance in children up to 13 years of age. Cross-sectional studies suggest that children with higher cardiorespiratory fitness have more efficient cognitive processing at the neuroelectric level, as well as larger hippocampal and basal ganglia volumes, compared to children with lower cardiorespiratory fitness. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness has been associated with better inhibitory control in tasks requiring rigorous attention allocation. Better motor skills have been related to more efficient cognitive functions including inhibitory control and working memory. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness and better motor skills have also been associated with better academic performance. Furthermore, none of the studies on cardiorespiratory fitness have revealed independent associations with cognitive functions by controlling for motor skills. Studies concerning the relationship between motor skills and cognitive functions also did not consider cardiorespiratory fitness in the analyses. The results of this review suggest that high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and motor skills may be beneficial for cognitive development and academic performance but the evidence relies mainly on cross-sectional studies. PMID:23717355

  6. The relationship between the behavior problems and motor skills of students with intellectual disability

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yangchool; Jeoung, Bogja

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the motor skills and the behavior problems of students with intellectual disabilities. The study participants were 117 students with intellectual disabilities who were between 7 and 25 years old (male, n=79; female, n=38) and attending special education schools in South Korea. Motor skill abilities were assessed by using the second version of the Bruininks-Oseretsky test of motor proficiency, which includes subtests in fine motor control, manual coordination, body coordination, strength, and agility. Data were analyzed with SPSS IBM 21 by using correlation and regression analyses, and the significance level was set at P<0.05. The results showed that fine motor precision and integration had a statistically significant influence on aggressive behavior. Manual dexterity showed a statistically significant influence on somatic complaint and anxiety/depression, and bilateral coordination had a statistically significant influence on social problems, attention problem, and aggressive behavior. Our results showed that balance had a statistically significant influence on social problems and aggressive behavior, and speed and agility had a statistically significant influence on social problems and aggressive behavior. Upper limb coordination and strength had a statistically significant influence on social problems. PMID:28119883

  7. Cognitive-behaviour therapy and skilled motor performance in adults with chronic tic disorder.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Kieron P; Lavoie, Marc E; Stip, Emmanuel; Borgeat, François; Laverdure, Anick

    2008-01-01

    The first aim of the present study was to compare performance of people with tic disorders (TD) and controls on executive function and a range of skilled motor tests requiring complex performance, guided movements, hand co-ordination, and fine control of steadiness. The second aim was to investigate the effect of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) on motor performance. A total of 55 patients with TD were recruited at baseline from participants in a behavioural management programme. A comparison group of 55 patients suffering from a variety of habit disorders (HD) involving complex manual movements, were matched on age and level of education to 34 non-psychiatric controls. Participants were evaluated pre- and post-treatment and post-waitlist with a neuropsychological evaluation focusing on executive function (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, WCST) and skilled motor performance (Purdue Pegboard, Hole Steadiness Test, and the Groove Test). Results revealed WCST scores in the normal range, while motor performance differed significantly on the Purdue Pegboard Tests in both TD and HD as compared to the control group. Cognitive-behavioural treatment selectively improved motor performance in both clinical groups compared to waitlist control, and this improvement related to clinical outcome measures.

  8. Biographic and behavioral factors are associated with music-related motor skills in children pianists.

    PubMed

    Spector, June T; Yong, Raymond; Altenmüller, Eckart; Jabusch, Hans-Christian

    2014-10-01

    This study aimed to identify biographical and behavioral factors associated with children pianists' motor skills using an objective assessment of a music-relevant motor task. Motor skills at the piano were assessed in 30 children pianists by measuring temporal unevenness in standardized scale playing using musical instrument digital interface (MIDI)-based scale analysis. Questionnaires were used to collect detailed information about the amount of time playing the piano, practice characteristics, attitudes toward music and practice, and the environment of music and practice. Associations between performance values and variables from the questionnaire were investigated using multivariable linear regression. A higher number of years playing the piano, more frequent parental involvement in the child's practice, more frequent practice of technical exercises, and greater enjoyment of practice and of the visual arts were associated with better motor performance. In addition to cumulative experience and aspects of practice, extrinsic motivational factors (e.g., parental interest) and intrinsic motivational factors (e.g., an artistic disposition) were associated with better performance on a musically-relevant motor task in children pianists.

  9. Effects of robotically modulating kinematic variability on motor skill learning and motivation

    PubMed Central

    Reinkensmeyer, David J.

    2015-01-01

    It is unclear how the variability of kinematic errors experienced during motor training affects skill retention and motivation. We used force fields produced by a haptic robot to modulate the kinematic errors of 30 healthy adults during a period of practice in a virtual simulation of golf putting. On day 1, participants became relatively skilled at putting to a near and far target by first practicing without force fields. On day 2, they warmed up at the task without force fields, then practiced with force fields that either reduced or augmented their kinematic errors and were finally assessed without the force fields active. On day 3, they returned for a long-term assessment, again without force fields. A control group practiced without force fields. We quantified motor skill as the variability in impact velocity at which participants putted the ball. We quantified motivation using a self-reported, standardized scale. Only individuals who were initially less skilled benefited from training; for these people, practicing with reduced kinematic variability improved skill more than practicing in the control condition. This reduced kinematic variability also improved self-reports of competence and satisfaction. Practice with increased kinematic variability worsened these self-reports as well as enjoyment. These negative motivational effects persisted on day 3 in a way that was uncorrelated with actual skill. In summary, robotically reducing kinematic errors in a golf putting training session improved putting skill more for less skilled putters. Robotically increasing kinematic errors had no performance effect, but decreased motivation in a persistent way. PMID:25673732

  10. Child Development Associate Training Program. Unit IV: Motor Development in Young Children. Module 1: Fostering the Development of Gross Motor Skills in Young Children. Unit Overview.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.

    This Child Development Associate (CDA) training module enables CDA interns to identify, prescribe, plan and implement activities and lessons which foster the development of gross motor skills in young children. At a satisfactoy level of proficiency the trainee will be able to identify levels of gross motor maturation, select appropriate equipment,…

  11. Study of the Cognitive Plan in the Acquisition of Complex Motor Skill. Continuation of Study I: Good Motor Learners. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindquist, Edith L.

    This study continues the investigation of the general organizational plan used by good motor learners in acquiring a complex motor skill (tennis serve). The General Serve Problem Solving Model (GSPS), developed in earlier research, was utilized in an effort to improve and broaden it so that other types of learners may be studied and compared. Six…

  12. Motor Skill Interventions to Improve Fundamental Movement Skills of Preschoolers with Developmental Delay

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirk, Megan A.; Rhodes, Ryan E.

    2011-01-01

    Preschoolers with developmental delay (DD) are at risk for poor fundamental movement skills (FMS), but a paucity of early FMS interventions exist. The purpose of this review was to critically appraise the existing interventions to establish direction for future trials targeting preschoolers with DD. A total of 11 studies met the inclusion…

  13. Re-examining sleep׳s effect on motor skills: How to access performance on the finger tapping task?

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro Pereira, Sofia Isabel; Beijamini, Felipe; Vincenzi, Roberta Almeida; Louzada, Fernando Mazzilli

    2015-01-01

    Here our goal was to determine the magnitude of sleep-related motor skill enhancement. Performance on the finger tapping task (FTT) was evaluated after a 90 min daytime nap (n=15) or after quiet wakefulness (n=15). By introducing a slight modification in the formula used to calculate the offline gains we were able to refine the estimated magnitude of sleep׳s effect on motor skills. The raw value of improvement after a nap decreased after this correction (from ~15% to ~5%), but remained significantly higher than the control. These results suggest that sleep does indeed play a role in motor skill consolidation. PMID:26483936

  14. Motor-Life-Skills of Toddlers--A Comparative Study of Norwegian and British Boys and Girls Applying the Early Years Movement Skills Checklist

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moser, Thomas; Reikerås, Elin

    2016-01-01

    This article discusses motor-life-skills in a sample (n?=?1083) of 33 months (2.9-year-old) children in Norwegian early childhood education and care institutions (ECEC-institutions) and to compare the findings with the results from a similar British sample. The Early Years Movement Skills Checklist (EYMSC) (Chambers and Sugden 2006) was applied.…

  15. Child Development Associate Training Program. Unit IV: Motor Development in Young Children. Module 2: Fostering the Development of Fine Motor Skills in Young Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.

    Skills necessary for fostering fine motor development in young children are indicated and discussed in this training module for Child Development Associate (CDA) trainees. Trainees are taught to identify appropriate classroom equipment and materials, plan lessons and activities, assess children's skills, and finally teach a lesson or guide an…

  16. Motor skills in Brazilian children with developmental coordination disorder versus children with motor typical development.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Ana Amélia; Magalhães, Livia Castro; Rezende, Marcia Bastos

    2014-12-01

    The aims of the study were to compare the performance of children with probable developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and motor typically developing peers on items from the Assessment of Motor Coordination and Dexterity (AMCD), to determine whether age, gender and type of school had significant impact on the scores of the AMCD items, to estimate the frequency of DCD among Brazilian children ages 7 and 8 years and to investigate whether children with DCD exhibit more symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder than children with motor typical development. A total of 793 children were screened by the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire - Brazilian version (DCDQ-Brazil); 90 were identified as at risk for DCD; 91 matched controls were selected from the remaining participants. Children in both groups were evaluated with the AMCD, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-II) and Raven's coloured progressive matrices. Thirty-four children were classified as probable DCD, as defined by a combination of the DCDQ-Brazil and MABC-II scores (fifth percentile). The final frequency of DCD among children ages 7 and 8 years was 4.3%. There were significant differences between children with and without DCD on the majority of AMCD items, indicating its potential for identifying DCD in Brazilian children. The use of a motor test (MABC-II) that is not validated for the Brazilian children is a limitation of the present study. Further studies should investigate whether the AMCD is useful for identifying DCD in other age groups and in children from different regions of Brazil. The application of the AMCD may potentially contribute in improving occupational therapy practice in Brazil and in identifying children that could benefit from occupational therapy services.

  17. Aging affects motor skill learning when the task requires inhibitory control.

    PubMed

    Brosseau, Julie; Potvin, Marie-Julie; Rouleau, Isabelle

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have examined the influence of aging on motor skill learning (MSL) tasks involving different skills and conditions. Two tasks, each including two different conditions (repeated and nonrepeated), were used: (a) the Mirror Tracing task, requiring the inhibition of an overlearned response and the learning of a new visuomotor association, and (b) the Pursuit Tracking task, mainly requiring the processing of visuospatial stimuli. We hypothesized that older participants would benefit as much as younger participants from the stimuli repetition and that they would exhibit a slower learning rate exclusively on the Mirror Tracing task. As expected, older and younger participants' MSL were not differentially affected by task conditions. They also showed a similar learning rate on the Pursuit Tracking task and a subgroup of older participants exhibited MSL difficulties on the Mirror Tracing task. Problems in the inhibitory control of competing motor memories could explain these age-related MSL difficulties.

  18. Neural changes in the primate brain correlated with the evolution of complex motor skills

    PubMed Central

    Yamazaki, Y.; Hikishima, K.; Saiki, M.; Inada, M.; Sasaki, E.; Lemon, R. N.; Price, C. J.; Okano, H.; Iriki, A.

    2016-01-01

    Complex motor skills of eventual benefit can be learned after considerable trial and error. What do structural brain changes that accompany such effortful long-term learning tell us about the mechanisms for developing innovative behavior? Using MRI, we monitored brain structure before, during and after four marmosets learnt to use a rake, over a long period of 10–13 months. Throughout learning, improvements in dexterity and visuo-motor co-ordination correlated with increased volume in the lateral extrastriate cortex. During late learning, when the most complex behavior was maintained by sustained motivation to acquire the skill, the volume of the nucleus accumbens increased. These findings reflect the motivational state required to learn, and show accelerated function in higher visual cortex that is consistent with neurocognitive divergence across a spectrum of primate species. PMID:27498966

  19. Sleep-Dependent Consolidation of Procedural Motor Memories in Children and Adults: The Pre-Sleep Level of Performance Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilhelm, Ines; Metzkow-Meszaros, Maila; Knapp, Susanne; Born, Jan

    2012-01-01

    In striking contrast to adults, in children sleep following training a motor task did not induce the expected (offline) gain in motor skill performance in previous studies. Children normally perform at distinctly lower levels than adults. Moreover, evidence in adults suggests that sleep dependent offline gains in skill essentially depend on the…

  20. Do Girls with Excess Adiposity Perform Poorer Motor Skills than Leaner Peers?

    PubMed Central

    DAS VIRGENS CHAGAS, DANIEL; CARVALHO, JOYCE FERREIRA; BATISTA, LUIZ ALBERTO

    2016-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to analyze the joint association of body fat percentage and physical activity levels on motor coordination scores in girls with different adiposity status. Sixty-eight school-aged children between 12 and 14 years participated in the study. Skinfold thickness was measured and the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder test was administered. Participants completed a self-reporting questionnaire on physical activity. Children’s adiposity status was attributed in according to age-specific cutoff points of a Brazilian database. Analysis of Variance was used to compare motor coordination scores among groups with different status of adiposity and physical activity. Girls with appropriate body fat percentage performed higher motor coordination scores than girls with excess adiposity, regardless of their physical activity levels (p < 0.05). Additionally, within groups with the same adiposity status, no differences were found in motor coordination scores (p > 0.05). Adiposity status was predominant over physical activity status when joint associations of body fat percentage and physical activity levels on motor coordination scores were analyzed in girls. In addition to metabolic and cardiovascular issues, the acquisition and/or maintenance of appropriate body fat levels in female students should be focused in physical education classes due to its association with motor skills performance. PMID:27766126

  1. Motor-Skill Learning in an Insect Inspired Neuro-Computational Control System.

    PubMed

    Arena, Eleonora; Arena, Paolo; Strauss, Roland; Patané, Luca

    2017-01-01

    In nature, insects show impressive adaptation and learning capabilities. The proposed computational model takes inspiration from specific structures of the insect brain: after proposing key hypotheses on the direct involvement of the mushroom bodies (MBs) and on their neural organization, we developed a new architecture for motor learning to be applied in insect-like walking robots. The proposed model is a nonlinear control system based on spiking neurons. MBs are modeled as a nonlinear recurrent spiking neural network (SNN) with novel characteristics, able to memorize time evolutions of key parameters of the neural motor controller, so that existing motor primitives can be improved. The adopted control scheme enables the structure to efficiently cope with goal-oriented behavioral motor tasks. Here, a six-legged structure, showing a steady-state exponentially stable locomotion pattern, is exposed to the need of learning new motor skills: moving through the environment, the structure is able to modulate motor commands and implements an obstacle climbing procedure. Experimental results on a simulated hexapod robot are reported; they are obtained in a dynamic simulation environment and the robot mimicks the structures of Drosophila melanogaster.

  2. Motor-Skill Learning in an Insect Inspired Neuro-Computational Control System

    PubMed Central

    Arena, Eleonora; Arena, Paolo; Strauss, Roland; Patané, Luca

    2017-01-01

    In nature, insects show impressive adaptation and learning capabilities. The proposed computational model takes inspiration from specific structures of the insect brain: after proposing key hypotheses on the direct involvement of the mushroom bodies (MBs) and on their neural organization, we developed a new architecture for motor learning to be applied in insect-like walking robots. The proposed model is a nonlinear control system based on spiking neurons. MBs are modeled as a nonlinear recurrent spiking neural network (SNN) with novel characteristics, able to memorize time evolutions of key parameters of the neural motor controller, so that existing motor primitives can be improved. The adopted control scheme enables the structure to efficiently cope with goal-oriented behavioral motor tasks. Here, a six-legged structure, showing a steady-state exponentially stable locomotion pattern, is exposed to the need of learning new motor skills: moving through the environment, the structure is able to modulate motor commands and implements an obstacle climbing procedure. Experimental results on a simulated hexapod robot are reported; they are obtained in a dynamic simulation environment and the robot mimicks the structures of Drosophila melanogaster. PMID:28337138

  3. Motor skills and school performance in children with daily physical education in school--a 9-year intervention study.

    PubMed

    Ericsson, I; Karlsson, M K

    2014-04-01

    The aim was to study long-term effects on motor skills and school performance of increased physical education (PE). All pupils born 1990-1992 from one school were included in a longitudinal study over nine years. An intervention group (n = 129) achieved daily PE (5 × 45 min/week) and if needed one extra lesson of adapted motor training. The control group (n = 91) had PE two lessons/week. Motor skills were evaluated by the Motor Skills Development as Ground for Learning observation checklist and school achievements by marks in Swedish, English, Mathematics, and PE and proportion of pupils who qualified for upper secondary school. In school year 9 there were motor skills deficits in 7% of pupils in the intervention group compared to 47% in the control group (P < 0.001), 96% of the pupils in the intervention group compared to 89% in the control group (P < 0.05) qualified for upper secondary school. The sum of evaluated marks was higher among boys in the intervention group than in the control group (P < 0.05). The sum of marks was also higher in pupils with no motor skills deficit than among pupils with motor skills deficits (P < 0.01), as was the proportion of pupils who qualified for upper secondary school (97% vs 81%, P < 0.001). Daily PE and adapted motor skills training during the compulsory school years is a feasible way to improve not only motor skills but also school performance and the proportion of pupils who qualify for upper secondary school.

  4. The Dutch motor skills assessment as tool for talent development in table tennis: a reproducibility and validity study.

    PubMed

    Faber, Irene R; Nijhuis-Van Der Sanden, Maria W G; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T; Oosterveld, Frits G J

    2015-01-01

    A motor skills assessment could be helpful in talent development by estimating essential perceptuo-motor skills of young players, which are considered requisite to develop excellent technical and tactical qualities. The Netherlands Table Tennis Association uses a motor skills assessment in their talent development programme consisting of eight items measuring perceptuo-motor skills specific to table tennis under varying conditions. This study aimed to investigate this assessment regarding its reproducibility, internal consistency, underlying dimensions and concurrent validity in 113 young table tennis players (6-10 years). Intraclass correlation coefficients of six test items met the criteria of 0.7 with coefficients of variation between 3% and 8%. Cronbach's alpha valued 0.853 for internal consistency. The principal components analysis distinguished two conceptually meaningful factors: "ball control" and "gross motor function." Concurrent validity analyses demonstrated moderate associations between the motor skills assessment's results and national ranking; boys r = -0.53 (P < 0.001) and girls r = -0.45 (P = 0.015). In conclusion, this evaluation demonstrated six test items with acceptable reproducibility, good internal consistency and good prospects for validity. Two test items need revision to upgrade reproducibility. Since the motor skills assessment seems to be a reproducible, objective part of a talent development programme, more longitudinal studies are required to investigate its predictive validity.

  5. Working memory and fine motor skills predict early numeracy performance of children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Van Rooijen, Maaike; Verhoeven, Ludo; Steenbergen, Bert

    2016-01-01

    Early numeracy is an important precursor for arithmetic performance, academic proficiency, and work success. Besides their apparent motor difficulties, children with cerebral palsy (CP) often show additional cognitive disturbances. In this study, we examine whether working memory, non-verbal intelligence, linguistic skills, counting and fine motor skills are positively related to the early numeracy performance of 6-year-old children with CP. A total of 56 children (M = 6.0, SD = 0.61, 37 boys) from Dutch special education schools participated in this cross-sectional study. Of the total group, 81% of the children have the spastic type of CP (33% unilateral and 66% bilateral), 9% have been diagnosed as having diskinetic CP, 8% have been diagnosed as having spastic and diskinetic CP and 2% have been diagnosed as having a combination of diskinetic and atactic CP. The children completed standardized tests assessing early numeracy performance, working memory, non-verbal intelligence, sentence understanding and fine motor skills. In addition, an experimental task was administered to examine their basic counting performance. Structural equation modeling showed that working memory and fine motor skills were significantly related to the early numeracy performance of the children (β = .79 and p < .001, β = .41 and p < .001, respectively). Furthermore, counting was a mediating variable between working memory and early numeracy (β = .57, p < .001). Together, these findings highlight the importance of working memory for early numeracy performance in children with CP and they warrant further research into the efficacy of intervention programs aimed at working memory training.

  6. Tactile stimulation during sleep alters slow oscillation and spindle densities but not motor skill.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Sofia Isabel Ribeiro; Beijamini, Felipe; Weber, Frederik D; Vincenzi, Roberta Almeida; da Silva, Felipe Augusto Cini; Louzada, Fernando Mazzilli

    2017-02-01

    Studies using targeted memory reactivation have shown that presentation of auditory or olfactory contextual cues during sleep can bias hippocampal reactivations towards the preferential replay of the cue-associated material, thereby resulting in enhanced consolidation of that information. If the same cortical ensembles are indeed used for encoding and storage of a given piece of information, forcing the sleeping brain to re-engage in task-intrinsic information processing should disturb the natural ongoing consolidation processes and therefore impair possible sleep benefits. Here we aimed at recreating an integral part of the sensory experience of a motor skill in a daytime nap, by means of a tactile stimulation. We hypothesized that tampering with the tactile component of a motor skill during sleep would result in hindered performance at retest, due to interference between the highly congruent incoming stimuli and the core skill trace. Contrary to our predictions, the tactile stimulation did not influence neither speed nor accuracy, when compared to natural sleep. However, an exploratory sleep EEG analysis revealed stimulation-induced alterations in the abundance and cortical topography of slow oscillations and spindles. These findings suggest that despite the lack of a significant effect on motor behavior, tactile stimulation induced changes in EEG features suggestive of a possible uncoupling between the sleep oscillations thought to underlie consolidation processes, i.e. slow oscillations and sleep spindles.

  7. Parental Writing Support and Preschoolers' Early Literacy, Language, and Fine Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Bindman, Samantha W.; Skibbe, Lori E.; Hindman, Annemarie H.; Aram, Dorit; Morrison, Frederick J.

    2014-01-01

    The current study examines the nature and variability of parents' aid to preschoolers in the context of a shared writing task, as well as the relations between this support and children's literacy, vocabulary, and fine motor skills. In total, 135 preschool children (72 girls) and their parents (primarily mothers) in an ethnically diverse, middle-income community were observed while writing a semi-structured invitation for a pretend birthday party together. Children's phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, word decoding, vocabulary, and fine motor skills were also assessed. Results revealed that parents provided variable, but generally low–level, support for children's approximation of sound-symbol correspondence in their writing (i.e., graphophonemic support), as well as for their production of letter forms (i.e., print support). Parents frequently accepted errors rather than asking for corrections (i.e., demand for precision). Further analysis of the parent-child dyads (n = 103) who wrote the child's name on the invitation showed that parents provided higher graphophonemic, but not print, support when writing the child's name than other words. Overall parental graphophonemic support was positively linked to children's decoding and fine motor skills, whereas print support and demand for precision were not related to any of the child outcomes. In sum, this study indicates that while parental support for preschoolers' writing may be minimal, it is uniquely linked to key literacy-related outcomes in preschool. PMID:25284957

  8. Acquisition of Motor and Cognitive Skills through Repetition in Typically Developing Children

    PubMed Central

    Magallón, Sara; Narbona, Juan; Crespo-Eguílaz, Nerea

    2016-01-01

    Background Procedural memory allows acquisition, consolidation and use of motor skills and cognitive routines. Automation of procedures is achieved through repeated practice. In children, improvement in procedural skills is a consequence of natural neurobiological development and experience. Methods The aim of the present research was to make a preliminary evaluation and description of repetition-based improvement of procedures in typically developing children (TDC). Ninety TDC children aged 6–12 years were asked to perform two procedural learning tasks. In an assembly learning task, which requires predominantly motor skills, we measured the number of assembled pieces in 60 seconds. In a mirror drawing learning task, which requires more cognitive functions, we measured time spent and efficiency. Participants were tested four times for each task: three trials were consecutive and the fourth trial was performed after a 10-minute nonverbal interference task. The influence of repeated practice on performance was evaluated by means of the analysis of variance with repeated measures and the paired-sample test. Correlation coefficients and simple linear regression test were used to examine the relationship between age and performance. Results TDC achieved higher scores in both tasks through repetition. Older children fitted more pieces than younger ones in assembling learning and they were faster and more efficient at the mirror drawing learning task. Conclusions These findings indicate that three consecutive trials at a procedural task increased speed and efficiency, and that age affected basal performance in motor-cognitive procedures. PMID:27384671

  9. TMS enhances retention of a motor skill in Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Moisello, Clara; Blanco, Daniella; Fontanesi, Cecilia; Lin, Jing; Biagioni, Milton; Kumar, Pawan; Brys, Miroslaw; Loggini, Andrea; Marinelli, Lucio; Abbruzzese, Giovanni; Quartarone, Angelo; Tononi, Giulio; Di Rocco, Alessandro; Ghilardi, Maria Felice

    2015-01-01

    Background In Parkinson’s disease (PD), skill retention is poor, even when acquisition rate is generally preserved. Recent work in normal subjects suggests that 5 Hz-repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (5Hz-rTMS) may induce phenomena of long-term potentiation at the cortical level. Objective/Hypothesis We thus verified whether, in PD, 5Hz-rTMS enhances retention of a visuo-motor skill that involves the activity of the right posterior parietal cortex. Methods A group of patients with PD was tested in two two-day sessions, separated by one week (treatment and placebo sessions). The first day of each session, they learned to adapt their movements to a step-wise 60° visual rotation. Immediately after the task, either real 5Hz-rTMS (treatment) or sham (placebo) stimulation was applied over the right posterior parietal cortex (P6). Retention of this motor skill was tested the following day. Results In patients with PD, adaptation achieved at the end of training was comparable in the treatment and placebo sessions and was similar to that of a group of age-matched controls. However, retention indices tested on the following day were significantly lower in the placebo compared to the treatment session in which retention indices were restored to the level of the controls. Importantly, reaction and movement time as well as other kinematic measures were the same in the treatment and placebo sessions. Conclusion These results suggest that rTMS applied after the acquisition of a motor skill over specific areas involved in this process might enhance skill retention in PD. PMID:25533243

  10. Patterned-string tasks: relation between fine motor skills and visual-spatial abilities in parrots.

    PubMed

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

    2013-01-01

    String-pulling and patterned-string tasks are often used to analyse perceptual and cognitive abilities in animals. In addition, the paradigm can be used to test the interrelation between visual-spatial and motor performance. Two Australian parrot species, the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), forage on the ground, but only the galah uses its feet to manipulate food. I used a set of string pulling and patterned-string tasks to test whether usage of the feet during foraging is a prerequisite for solving the vertical string pulling problem. Indeed, the two species used techniques that clearly differed in the extent of beak-foot coordination but did not differ in terms of their success in solving the string pulling task. However, when the visual-spatial skills of the subjects were tested, the galahs outperformed the cockatiels. This supports the hypothesis that the fine motor skills needed for advanced beak-foot coordination may be interrelated with certain visual-spatial abilities needed for solving patterned-string tasks. This pattern was also found within each of the two species on the individual level: higher motor abilities positively correlated with performance in patterned-string tasks. This is the first evidence of an interrelation between visual-spatial and motor abilities in non-mammalian animals.

  11. Patterned-String Tasks: Relation between Fine Motor Skills and Visual-Spatial Abilities in Parrots

    PubMed Central

    Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

    2013-01-01

    String-pulling and patterned-string tasks are often used to analyse perceptual and cognitive abilities in animals. In addition, the paradigm can be used to test the interrelation between visual-spatial and motor performance. Two Australian parrot species, the galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and the cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), forage on the ground, but only the galah uses its feet to manipulate food. I used a set of string pulling and patterned-string tasks to test whether usage of the feet during foraging is a prerequisite for solving the vertical string pulling problem. Indeed, the two species used techniques that clearly differed in the extent of beak-foot coordination but did not differ in terms of their success in solving the string pulling task. However, when the visual-spatial skills of the subjects were tested, the galahs outperformed the cockatiels. This supports the hypothesis that the fine motor skills needed for advanced beak-foot coordination may be interrelated with certain visual-spatial abilities needed for solving patterned-string tasks. This pattern was also found within each of the two species on the individual level: higher motor abilities positively correlated with performance in patterned-string tasks. This is the first evidence of an interrelation between visual-spatial and motor abilities in non-mammalian animals. PMID:24376885

  12. A literature review on observational learning for medical motor skills and anesthesia teaching.

    PubMed

    Cordovani, Ligia; Cordovani, Daniel

    2016-12-01

    Motor skill practice is very important to improve performance of medical procedures and could be enhanced by observational practice. Observational learning could be particularly important in the medical field considering that patients' safety prevails over students' training. The mechanism of observational learning is based on the mirror neuron system, originally discovered in the monkey pre-motor cortex. Today we know that humans have a similar system, and its role is to understand and reproduce the observed actions of others. Many studies conclude that humans are able to plan and to make movements based on visual information by mapping a representation of observed actions, especially when the motor system is committed to do it. Moreover most researchers considered observational learning effective for complex skills, such as medical procedures. Additionally, observational learning could play a relevant role during anesthesia training since the learner works in pairs most of the time (dyad practice). Some teaching approaches should be taken into consideration: an implicit engagement of the observer motor system is required, immediate feedback seems to have an important effect, and a combination of observational and physical practice could be better than physical practice alone. In an environment where effectiveness and efficacy are essential, observational learning seems to fit well.

  13. Interaction between motor ability and skill learning in children: Application of implicit and explicit approaches.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Jon P; Capio, Catherine M; Masters, Rich S W

    2017-05-01

    The benefits of implicit and explicit motor learning approaches in young adults have been studied extensively, but much less in children. This study investigated the relationship between fundamental motor ability and implicit/explicit learning in children using the errorless learning paradigm. First, the motor ability of 261 children (142 boys, 119 girls) aged 9-12 years (M = 9.74, SD = 0.67) was measured. Second, children with motor ability scores in the upper and lower quartile learned a golf-putting skill in either an errorless (implicit) or errorful (explicit) learning condition. Four groups were formed: Errorless High-Ability (n = 13), Errorless Low-Ability (n = 11), Errorful High-Ability (n = 10), and Errorful Low-Ability (n = 11). Learning consisted of 300 practice trials, while testing included a 50-trial retention test, followed by a 50-trial secondary task transfer test, and another 50-trial retention test. The results showed that for high- and low-ability errorless learners, motor performance was unaffected by the secondary task, as was the case for high-ability errorful learners. Low-ability errorful learners performed worse with a secondary task and were significantly poorer than the corresponding high-ability group. These results suggest that implicit motor learning (errorless) may be beneficial for children with low motor ability. The findings also show a trend that children of high motor ability might benefit from learning explicitly (errorful). Further research is recommended to examine the compatibility of implicit and explicit approaches for children of different abilities.

  14. Differences in Visuo-Motor Control in Skilled vs. Novice Martial Arts Athletes during Sustained and Transient Attention Tasks: A Motor-Related Cortical Potential Study

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A.; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and “automatic” or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  15. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  16. Reading: What Else Matters besides Strategies and Skills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Afflerbach, Peter; Cho, Byeong-Young; Kim, Jong-Yun; Crassas, Maria Elliker; Doyle, Brie

    2013-01-01

    How can we best contribute to our students' reading development and achievement? What are the hallmarks of successful, independent student readers? An examination of reading curricula, reading assessment, and related Federal education policy reveals the ongoing emphasis on the cognitive strategies and skills of reading. The teaching and learning…

  17. Field of Vision Influences Sensory-Motor Control of Skilled and Less-Skilled Dart Players

    PubMed Central

    Rienhoff, Rebecca; Baker, Joseph; Fischer, Lennart; Strauss, Bernd; Schorer, Jörg

    2012-01-01

    One characteristic of perceptual expertise in sport and other domains is known as ’the quiet eye', which assumes that fixated information is processed during gaze stability and insufficient spatial information leads to a decrease in performance. The aims of this study were a) replicating inter- and intra-group variability and b) investigating the extent to which quiet eye supports information pick-up of varying fields of vision (i.e., central versus peripheral) using a specific eye-tracking paradigm to compare different skill levels in a dart throwing task. Differences between skill levels were replicated at baseline, but no significant differences in throwing performance were revealed among the visual occlusion conditions. Findings are generally in line with the association between quiet eye duration and aiming performance, but raise questions regarding the relevance of central vision information pick-up for the quiet eye. Key pointsInvestigation of throwing performance and quiet eye duration in dart throwing under several vision conditionsFirst investigation using a dynamic occlusion paradigm, manipulating field of vision in situReplication of previous findings concerning throwing performance and quiet eye durationNew insights about the role of central (and peripheral) vision concerning the quiet eye phenomena PMID:24149366

  18. The influence of M. P. Bryden's work on lateralization of motor skill: Is the preferred hand selected for and better at tasks requiring a high degree of skill?

    PubMed

    Bryden, Pamela J

    2015-10-21

    One question of interest to Dr M. P. Bryden was how skilled motor behaviour, task complexity, and the degree of handedness are linked. His research suggested that there would be dissociation between hand preference and performance for skilled versus unskilled actions. The thought was that "simple" or unskilled tasks such reaching or grasping could be performed equally well by either hand, and thus either could be selected. Skilled tasks such as fine manipulation would be performed best by the preferred hand and thus it would be selected more frequently. Over the past two decades, researchers have attempted to determine whether such a definition of skilled action best encapsulates the specialization of the preferred hand. The current paper will review M. P. Bryden's research on skilled motor behaviour, as well as more recent work, and explore the question of whether the preferred hand is actually superior and preferred for actions requiring manipulation.

  19. Action observation and acquired motor skills: an FMRI study with expert dancers.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Merino, B; Glaser, D E; Grèzes, J; Passingham, R E; Haggard, P

    2005-08-01

    When we observe someone performing an action, do our brains simulate making that action? Acquired motor skills offer a unique way to test this question, since people differ widely in the actions they have learned to perform. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study differences in brain activity between watching an action that one has learned to do and an action that one has not, in order to assess whether the brain processes of action observation are modulated by the expertise and motor repertoire of the observer. Experts in classical ballet, experts in capoeira and inexpert control subjects viewed videos of ballet or capoeira actions. Comparing the brain activity when dancers watched their own dance style versus the other style therefore reveals the influence of motor expertise on action observation. We found greater bilateral activations in premotor cortex and intraparietal sulcus, right superior parietal lobe and left posterior superior temporal sulcus when expert dancers viewed movements that they had been trained to perform compared to movements they had not. Our results show that this 'mirror system' integrates observed actions of others with an individual's personal motor repertoire, and suggest that the human brain understands actions by motor simulation.

  20. Motor skill performance of school-age children with visual impairments.

    PubMed

    Houwen, S; Visscher, C; Lemmink, K A P M; Hartman, E

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the performance of children with visual impairments (VI) aged 7 to 10 years on different types of motor skills. Furthermore, the association between the degree of the VI and motor performance was examined. The motor performance of 48 children with VI (32 males, 16 females; mean age 8y 10mo [SD 1y 1mo]) was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). Their performance was compared with 48 children without VI (33 males, 15 females; mean age 8y 9mo [SD 1y 1mo]). Children with VI showed the poorest performance compared with peers without VI on unimanual speed, eye-hand coordination, catching, static balance, and dynamic balance while moving slowly. There was no significant difference between children with moderate and severe VI, except for bimanual coordination in 7- to 8-year-olds and eye-hand coordination in both the 7- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 10-year-olds, favouring the children with moderate VI. The poor performance compared with children without VI is related to vision, but the degree of the VI does not appear to relate to motor performance, except when associated with bimanual and eye-hand coordination. For children with VI, it seems very important to adjust the environmental context and task to enhance motor performance.

  1. Neonatal White Matter Abnormality Predicts Childhood Motor Impairment in Very Preterm Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spittle, Alicia J.; Cheong, Jeanie; Doyle, Lex W.; Roberts, Gehan; Lee, Katherine J.; Lim, Jeremy; Hunt, Rod W.; Inder, Terrie E.; Anderson, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Aim: Children born very preterm are at risk for impaired motor performance ranging from cerebral palsy (CP) to milder abnormalities, such as developmental coordination disorder. White matter abnormalities (WMA) at term have been associated with CP in very preterm children; however, little is known about the impact of WMA on the range of motor…

  2. Directly Observed Physical Activity and Fundamental Motor Skills in Four-Year-Old Children in Day Care

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iivonen, S.; Sääkslahti, A. K.; Mehtälä, A.; Villberg, J. J.; Soini, A.; Poskiparta, M.

    2016-01-01

    Physical activity (PA), its location, social interactions and fundamental motor skills (FMS) were investigated in four-year-old Finnish children in day care. Six skills in the stability, locomotor and manipulative domains were assessed in 53 children (24 boys, 29 girls, normal anthropometry) with the APM-Inventory manual for assessing children's…

  3. Effects of strength training on motor performance skills in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Behringer, Michael; Vom Heede, Andreas; Matthews, Maria; Mester, Joachim

    2011-05-01

    The recent literature delineates resistance training in children and adolescents to be effective and safe. However, only little is known about the transfer of achieved strength gains to athletic performance. The present meta-analysis revealed a combined mean effect size for motor skill types jumping, running, and throwing of 0.52 (95% CI: 0.33-0.71). Effect sizes for each of aforementioned skill types separately were 0.54 (95% CI: 0.34-0.74), 0.53 (95% CI: 0.23-0.83), and 0.99 (95% CI: 0.19-1.79) respectively. Furthermore, it could be shown that younger subjects and nonathletes showed higher gains in motor performance following resistance training than their counterparts and that specific resistance training regimes were not advantageous over traditional resistance training programs. Finally, a positive dose response relationship for "intensity" could be found in subgroups using traditional training regimens. These results emphasize that resistance training provides an effective way for enhancing motor performance in children and adolescents.

  4. Fine motor skills of the hands in Polish and Czech female senior citizens from different backgrounds.

    PubMed

    Skrzek, Anna; Přidalová, Miroslava; Sebastjan, Anna; Harásková, Dominika; Fugiel, Jaroslaw; Ignasiak, Zofia; Slawinska, Teresa; Rozek, Krystyna

    2015-08-01

    The aim of the present study was an in-depth analysis of fine motor skills of the hands in elderly women from different socio-cultural backgrounds. The research also included analysis of the associations of age with the variables assessing right- and left-hand motor skills and its effect on hand performance asymmetry. The study examined 486 women over the age of 60. The study measured dominant and non-dominant hand performance using the motor performance series test battery (aiming, line tracking, inserting pins, tapping) from the Vienna test system. The best results in the tests assessing coordinated hand movements were achieved by the group of elderly women attending a University of the Third Age in Poland. This may be the result of a larger variety of physical activity programs offered at this type of institution. However, due to the cross-sectional design of the study, additional research of a longitudinal nature needs to be performed using the same sample of individuals to draw any definitive conclusions. Additionally, a decrease in the differences between dominant and non-dominant hand function with age was observed.

  5. Fine finger motor skill training with exoskeleton robotic hand in chronic stroke: stroke rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Ockenfeld, Corinna; Tong, Raymond K Y; Susanto, Evan A; Ho, Sze-Kit; Hu, Xiao-ling

    2013-06-01

    Background and Purpose. Stroke survivors often show a limited recovery in the hand function to perform delicate motions, such as full hand grasping, finger pinching and individual finger movement. The purpose of this study is to describe the implementation of an exoskeleton robotic hand together with fine finger motor skill training on 2 chronic stroke patients. Case Descriptions. Two post-stroke patients participated in a 20-session training program by integrating 10 minutes physical therapy, 20 minutes robotic hand training and 15 minutes functional training tasks with delicate objects(card, pen and coin). These two patients (A and B) had cerebrovascular accident at 6 months and 11 months respectively when enrolled in this study. Outcomes. The results showed that both patients had improvements in Fugl-Meyer assessment (FM), Action Research Arm Test (ARAT). Patients had better isolation of the individual finger flexion and extension based on the reduced muscle co-contraction from the electromyographic(EMG) signals and finger extension force after 20 sessions of training. Discussion. This preliminary study showed that by focusing on the fine finger motor skills together with the exoskeleton robotic hand, it could improve the motor recovery of the upper extremity in the fingers and hand function, which were showed in the ARAT. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness.

  6. Recontextualizing Dance Skills: Overcoming Impediments to Motor Learning and Expressivity in Ballet Dancers

    PubMed Central

    Karin, Janet

    2016-01-01

    The process of transmitting ballet’s complex technique to young dancers can interfere with the innate processes that give rise to efficient, expressive and harmonious movement. With the intention of identifying possible solutions, this article draws on research across the fields of neurology, psychology, motor learning, and education, and considers their relevance to ballet as an art form, a technique, and a training methodology. The integration of dancers’ technique and expressivity is a core theme throughout the paper. A brief outline of the historical development of ballet’s aesthetics and training methods leads into factors that influence dancers’ performance. An exploration of the role of the neuromotor system in motor learning and the acquisition of expert skills reveals the roles of sensory awareness, imagery, and intention in cuing efficient, expressive movement. It also indicates potentially detrimental effects of conscious muscle control, explicit learning and persistent naïve beliefs. Finally, the paper presents a new theory regarding the acquisition of ballet skills. Recontextualization theory proposes that placing a problematic task within a new context may engender a new conceptual approach and/or sensory intention, and hence the genesis of new motor programs; and that these new programs may lead to performance that is more efficient, more rewarding for the dancer, more pleasing aesthetically, and more expressive. From an anecdotal point of view, this theory appears to be supported by the progress of many dancers at various stages of their dancing lives. PMID:27047437

  7. Facilitating skilled right hand motor function in older subjects by anodal polarization over the left primary motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Hummel, Friedhelm C; Heise, Kirstin; Celnik, Pablo; Floel, Agnes; Gerloff, Christian; Cohen, Leonardo G

    2010-12-01

    Healthy ageing is accompanied by limitations in performance of activities of daily living and personal independence. Recent reports demonstrated improvements in motor function induced by noninvasive anodal direct current stimulation (tDCS) of the primary motor cortex (M1) in young healthy adults. Here we tested the hypothesis that a single session of anodal tDCS over left M1 could facilitate performance of right upper extremity tasks required for activities of daily living (Jebsen-Taylor hand function test, JTT) in older subjects relative to Sham in a double-blind cross-over study design. We found (a) significant improvement in JTT function with tDCS relative to Sham that outlasted the stimulation period by at least 30 min, (b) that the older the subjects the more prominent this improvement appeared and (c) that consistent with previous results in younger subjects, these effects were not accompanied by any overt undesired side effect. We conclude that anodal tDCS applied over M1 can facilitate performance of skilled hand functions required for activities of daily living in older subjects.

  8. Auditory-motor entrainment and phonological skills: precise auditory timing hypothesis (PATH)

    PubMed Central

    Tierney, Adam; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Phonological skills are enhanced by music training, but the mechanisms enabling this cross-domain enhancement remain unknown. To explain this cross-domain transfer, we propose a precise auditory timing hypothesis (PATH) whereby entrainment practice is the core mechanism underlying enhanced phonological abilities in musicians. Both rhythmic synchronization and language skills such as consonant discrimination, detection of word and phrase boundaries, and conversational turn-taking rely on the perception of extremely fine-grained timing details in sound. Auditory-motor timing is an acoustic feature which meets all five of the pre-conditions necessary for cross-domain enhancement to occur (Patel, 2011, 2012, 2014). There is overlap between the neural networks that process timing in the context of both music and language. Entrainment to music demands more precise timing sensitivity than does language processing. Moreover, auditory-motor timing integration captures the emotion of the trainee, is repeatedly practiced, and demands focused attention. The PATH predicts that musical training emphasizing entrainment will be particularly effective in enhancing phonological skills. PMID:25505879

  9. Pollen foraging: learning a complex motor skill by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-06-01

    To investigate how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) learn the complex motor skills involved in pollen foraging, we observed naïve workers foraging on arrays of nectarless poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) in a greenhouse. Foraging skills were quantified by measuring the pollen load collected during each foraging bout and relating this to the number of flowers visited and bout duration on two consecutive days. The pollen standing crop (PSC) in each flower decreased drastically from 0530 to 0900 hours. Therefore, we related foraging performance to the changing levels of pollen available (per flower) and found that collection rate increased over the course of four consecutive foraging bouts (comprising between 277 and 354 individual flower visits), suggesting that learning to forage for pollen represents a substantial time investment for individual foragers. The pollen collection rate and size of pollen loads collected at the start of day 2 were markedly lower than at the end of day 1, suggesting that components of pollen foraging behaviour could be subject to imperfect overnight retention. Our results suggest that learning the necessary motor skills to collect pollen effectively from morphologically simple flowers takes three times as many visits as learning how to handle the most morphologically complex flowers to extract nectar, potentially explaining why bees are more specialised in their choice of pollen flowers.

  10. Implicit Guidance to Stable Performance in a Rhythmic Perceptual-Motor Skill

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meghan E.; Sternad, Dagmar

    2015-01-01

    Feedback information about error or reward is regarded essential to aid learners to acquire a perceptual-motor skill. Yet, simple error feedback does not suffice in guiding the learner towards the optimal solutions, when tasks have redundancy where the mapping between execution and performance outcome is unknown. The present study developed and tested a new means of implicitly guiding learners to acquire a perceptual-motor skill, rhythmically bouncing a ball on a racket. Due to its rhythmic nature, this task affords dynamically stable solutions that are resistant to small errors and noise, a strategy that is independent from simply reducing error. Based on the task model implemented in a virtual environment, a state-dependent manipulation was designed that shifted the range of ball-racket contacts that achieved to dynamically stable solutions. In two experiments, subjects practiced with this manipulation that guided them to impact the ball with more negative racket accelerations, the indicator for the strategy with dynamic stability. Subjects who practiced under normal conditions took longer time to acquire this skill, although error measures were identical between the control and experimental groups. Unlike in many other haptic guidance or adaptation studies, the experimental groups not only learned but also maintained the stable solution after the manipulation was removed. These results are a first demonstration that more subtle ways to guide the learner to better performance are needed to assist performance improvements, especially in tasks with redundancy, where error feedback may not be sufficient. PMID:25821180

  11. Long-Term Motor Deficits after Controlled Cortical Impact in Rats Can Be Detected by Fine Motor Skill Tests but Not by Automated Gait Analysis.

    PubMed

    Schönfeld, Lisa-Maria; Jahanshahi, Ali; Lemmens, Evi; Schipper, Sandra; Dooley, Dearbhaile; Joosten, Elbert; Temel, Yasin; Hendrix, Sven

    2017-01-15

    Animal models with constant, long-lasting motor deficits together with the right tests to assess behavioral abnormalities are needed to study the effectiveness of potential therapies to restore motor functions. In the current study, controlled cortical impact (CCI) was applied in rats to induce damage to the forelimb area of the motor cortex and the dorsal striatum. Motor behavior was assessed before and after CCI, using fine motor skill tests such as the adhesive removal test, the cylinder test, and the Montoya staircase test as well as the automated gait analysis system CatWalk XT over a 6 week period. CCI caused a variety of unilateral motor deficits, which were characterized in detail by using the selected fine motor skill tests. In striking contrast to previous studies on CCI in mice, neither forelimb impairments, nor general changes in gait, were detected with the CatWalk XT. These data suggest that the adhesive removal test, the cylinder test, and the Montoya staircase test are the methods of choice to detect long-term unilateral motor deficits in rats after CCI, whereas the use of automated gait analysis systems might not be suitable to measure these behavioral deviations.

  12. The effect of aquatic intervention on the gross motor function and aquatic skills in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Dimitrijević, Lidija; Aleksandrović, Marko; Madić, Dejan; Okičić, Tomislav; Radovanović, Dragan; Daly, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of an aquatic intervention on the gross motor function and aquatic skills of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Twenty-nine children with CP, aged 5 to 14, were recruited. Fourteen children completed an aquatic intervention (EG), and 13 children served as controls (CG). Two participants dropped out due to events (illness) unrelated to the intervention. The aquatic intervention lasted 6 weeks (2 sessions per week at 55 minutes per session) with a follow-up period of 3 weeks. The outcome measures were the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM) for motor function and the Water Orientation Test Alyn 2 (WOTA 2) for aquatic skills assessment. A significant improvement was observed in the secondary assessment of GMFM and WOTA 2. In contrast to the aquatic skills improvement, the GMFM change was not maintained at follow-up. Our results indicate that children with CP can improve gross motor function on dry land and aquatic skills with a 6-week water intervention. The intervention period was too short for sustainable improvement in dry-land motor skills after intervention (follow-up), but time was sufficient to achieve sustainable improvements in aquatic skills.

  13. THE VIEWING OF ONESELF PERFORMING SELECTED MOTOR SKILLS IN MOTION PICTURES AND ITS EFFECT UPON THE EXPRESSED CONCEPT OF SELF IN MOVEMENT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    CLIFTON, MARGUERITE A.; SMITH, HOPE M.

    A STUDY WAS CONDUCTED TO DETERMINE IF ONE'S EXPRESSED CONCEPT OF HIS PERFORMANCE OF CERTAIN SELECTED MOTOR SKILLS IS CHANGED THROUGH THE PROCESS OF VIEWING MOTION PICTURES OF HIMSELF PERFORMING THESE SAME SKILLS. SIXTY-FIVE COLLEGE STUDENTS 17 TO 21 YEARS OF AGE, PARTICIPATED. EACH SUBJECT PERFORMED FIVE MOTOR SKILLS IN SEQUENCE (1) WALKED 30 FEET…

  14. Engaging Environments Enhance Motor Skill Learning in a Computer Gaming Task.

    PubMed

    Lohse, Keith R; Boyd, Lara A; Hodges, Nicola J

    2016-01-01

    Engagement during practice can motivate a learner to practice more, hence having indirect effects on learning through increased practice. However, it is not known whether engagement can also have a direct effect on learning when the amount of practice is held constant. To address this question, 40 participants played a video game that contained an embedded repeated sequence component, under either highly engaging conditions (the game group) or mechanically identical but less engaging conditions (the sterile group). The game environment facilitated retention over a 1-week interval. Specifically, the game group improved in both speed and accuracy for random and repeated trials, suggesting a general motor-related improvement, rather than a specific influence of engagement on implicit sequence learning. These data provide initial evidence that increased engagement during practice has a direct effect on generalized learning, improving retention and transfer of a complex motor skill.

  15. Pre-Service Geography Teachers' Confidence in Geographical Subject Matter Knowledge and Teaching Geographical Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harte, Wendy; Reitano, Paul

    2015-01-01

    This research tracked the confidence of 16 undergraduate and postgraduate pre-service geography teachers as they completed a single semester, senior phase geography curriculum course. The study focused specifically on the pre-service teachers' confidence in geographical subject matter knowledge and their confidence in teaching geographical skills.…

  16. Learning a complex motor skill from video and point-light demonstrations.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Sérgio T; Ferracioli, Marcela de C; Denardi, Renata A

    2010-10-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the learning process of a highly complex ballet skill following demonstrations of point-light and video models. 16 participants divided into point-light and video groups (ns = 8) performed 160 trials of a pirouette, equally distributed in blocks of 20 trials, alternating periods of demonstration and practice, with a retention test a day later. Measures of head and trunk oscillation, coordination disparity from the model, and movement time difference showed similarities between video and point-light groups; ballet experts' evaluations indicated superiority of performance in the video over the point-light group. Results are discussed in terms of the task requirements of dissociation between head and trunk rotations, focusing on the hypothesis of sufficiency and higher relevance of information contained in biological motion models applied to learning of complex motor skills.

  17. Overnight Motor Skill Learning Outcomes in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Effect of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Landry, Shane; O'Driscoll, Denise M.; Hamilton, Garun S.; Conduit, Russell

    2016-01-01

    Study Objective: To determine the effectiveness of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in alleviating known impairments in the overnight consolidation of motor skill learning in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Methods: Twenty-five patients with untreated moderate-severe OSA, 13 first-night CPAP users, 17 compliant CPAP users, and 14 healthy control patients were trained on a motor sequence learning task (Sequential Finger Tapping Task, SFTT) and were subsequently tested prior to and after polysomnographic recorded sleep. Measures of subjective sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale) and sustained attention (Psychomotor Vigilance Task) were also completed before and after sleep. Results: Typical analyses of overnight improvement on the SFTT show significantly greater overnight gains in motor task speed in controls (+11.6 ± 4.7%, p = 0.007) and compliant CPAP users (+8.9 ± 4.3%, p = 0.008) compared to patients with OSA (−4.86 ± 4.5%). Additional analyses suggest that these improvements in motor performance occurred prior to the sleep episode, as all groups significantly improved (15% to 22%) over a 10-min presleep rest period. Thereafter, performance in all groups significantly deteriorated over sleep (6% to 16%) with trends toward patients with OSA showing greater losses in performance compared to control patients and compliant CPAP users. No between-group differences in subjective sleepiness and sustained attention were found presleep and postsleep. Conclusions: The current data suggest impairments in overnight motor learning in patients with OSA may be a combination of deficient stabilization of memory over a sleep episode as well as increased vulnerability to time on task fatigue effects. Compliant CPAP usage possibly offsets both of these impediments to learning outcomes by improving both sleep quality and subsequent daytime function. Citation: Landry S, O'Driscoll DM, Hamilton GS, Conduit R. Overnight motor skill learning

  18. Somatotopic organization of the white matter tracts underpinning motor control in humans: an electrical stimulation study.

    PubMed

    Rech, Fabien; Herbet, Guillaume; Moritz-Gasser, Sylvie; Duffau, Hugues

    2016-09-01

    The somatotopic organization of the primary motor cortex is well documented. However, a possible somatotopy of the network involved in motor control, i.e., eliciting negative motor phenomena during electrostimulation, is unknown in humans, particularly at the subcortical level. Here, we performed electrical stimulation mapping in awake patients operated for gliomas, to study the distribution of the white matter tracts subserving movement control of the lower limb, upper limb(s), and speech. Eighteen patients underwent awake surgery for frontal low-grade gliomas, by using intraoperative subcortical electrostimulation mapping to search interference with movement of the leg, arm(s), and face. We assessed the negative motor responses and their distribution throughout the tracts located under premotor areas. The corresponding stimulation sites were reported on a standard brain template for visual analysis and between-subjects comparisons. During stimulation of the white matter underneath the dorsal premotor cortex and supplementary motor area, rostral to the corticospinal tracts, all patients experienced cessation of the movement of lower and upper limbs, of bimanual coordination, and/or speech. These subcortical sites were somatotopically distributed. Indeed, stimulation of the fibers from mesial to lateral directions and from posterior to anterior directions evoked arrest of movement of the lower limb (mesially and posteriorly), upper limb(s), and face/speech (laterally and anteriorly). There were no postoperative permanent deficits. This is the first evidence of a somatotopic organization of the white matter bundles underpinning movement control in humans. A better knowledge of the distribution of this motor control network may be helpful in neurosciences and neurosurgery.

  19. Gray Matter Volume Deficits are Associated with Motor and Attentional Impairments in Adolescents with Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Kumra, Sanjiv; Ashtari, Manzar; Wu, Jinghui; Hongwanishkul, Donaya; White, Tonya; Cervellione, Kelly; Cottone, John; Szeszko, Philip R.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive deficits have been well described in adolescents with schizophrenia, but little is known about the neuroanatomical basis of these abnormalities. The authors examined whether neuropsychological deficits observed in adolescents with schizophrenia were associated with cortical gray matter volume deficits. Volumes of the superior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus and orbital frontal lobe were outlined manually from contiguous MR images and automatically segmented into gray and white matter in 52 patients and 48 healthy volunteers. Subjects received a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery, assessing five different functional domains: executive, attention, verbal memory, motor and sensory motor. Children and adolescents with schizophrenia were found to have lower total cortical and lower superior frontal gyrus gray matter volumes and lower test scores across all functional domains compared to healthy volunteers. Among patients, lower total cortical gray matter volume was associated with worse functioning on the attention and motor domains. Our findings point to widespread, perhaps multifocal, pathology as contributing to cognitive dysfunction in adolescents with schizophrenia. PMID:21216271

  20. The contribution of nocturnal sleep to the consolidation of motor skill learning in healthy ageing and Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Terpening, Zoe; Naismith, Sharon; Melehan, Kerri; Gittins, Catherine; Bolitho, Sam; Lewis, Simon J G

    2013-08-01

    The benefits of sleep for the consolidation of procedural motor skills are less robust in older adults, although the precise reasons for this remain unclear. To date, even less is known about these processes in older adults with neurodegenerative diseases, particularly those which impact on motor functioning. While sleep disturbance and motor symptoms are frequent disabling features of Parkinson's disease, no known studies have directly probed sleep-dependent memory consolidation for motor skill learning in Parkinson's disease. Forty patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (age = 63.7 years ± 7.7; disease duration 4.1 years ± 4.4) completed a motor skill learning task pre- and post-sleep and were compared to 20 age- and sex-matched controls recruited from the community. Polysomnography was undertaken during the post-training night and measures of sleep architecture were derived. Parkinson's disease patients did not demonstrate any apparent deficits in within-session learning and overnight stabilization compared to controls, with both groups failing to demonstrate offline improvements in performance (i.e. memory consolidation). In controls, longer duration in slow wave sleep was associated with improved next-day session learning (P = 0.007). However, in Parkinson's disease, no relationships between sleep parameters and learning measures were found. Slow wave sleep microarchitecture and the use of dopaminergic medications may contribute to impaired sleep-dependent multi-session acquisition of motor skill learning in Parkinson's disease.

  1. White matter maturation in visual and motor areas predicts the latency of visual activation in children.

    PubMed

    Dockstader, Colleen; Gaetz, William; Rockel, Conrad; Mabbott, Donald J

    2012-01-01

    In humans, white matter maturation is important for the improvement of cognitive function and performance with age. Across studies the variables of white matter maturity and age are highly correlated; however, the unique contributions of white matter to information processing speed remain relatively unknown. We investigated the relations between the speed of the visually-evoked P100m response and the biophysical properties of white matter in 11 healthy children performing a simple, visually-cued finger movement. We found that: (1) the latency of the early, visually-evoked response was related to the integrity of white matter in both visual and motor association areas and (2) white matter maturation in these areas accounted for the variations in visual processing speed, independent of age. Our study is a novel investigation of spatial-temporal dynamics in the developing brain and provides evidence that white matter maturation accounts for age-related decreases in the speed of visual response. Developmental models of cortical specialization should incorporate the unique role of white matter maturation in mediating changes in performance during tasks involving visual processing.

  2. Disrupted white matter in language and motor tracts in developmental stuttering.

    PubMed

    Connally, Emily L; Ward, David; Howell, Peter; Watkins, Kate E

    2014-04-01

    White matter tracts connecting areas involved in speech and motor control were examined using diffusion-tensor imaging in a sample of people who stutter (n=29) who were heterogeneous with respect to age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. The goals were to replicate previous findings in developmental stuttering and to extend our knowledge by evaluating the relationship between white matter differences in people who stutter and factors such as age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. We replicated previous findings that showed reduced integrity in white matter underlying ventral premotor cortex, cerebral peduncles and posterior corpus callosum in people who stutter relative to controls. Tractography analysis additionally revealed significantly reduced white matter integrity in the arcuate fasciculus bilaterally and the left corticospinal tract and significantly reduced connectivity within the left corticobulbar tract in people who stutter. Region-of-interest analyses revealed reduced white matter integrity in people who stutter in the three pairs of cerebellar peduncles that carry the afferent and efferent fibers of the cerebellum. Within the group of people who stutter, the higher the stuttering severity index, the lower the white matter integrity in the left angular gyrus, but the greater the white matter connectivity in the left corticobulbar tract. Also, in people who stutter, handedness and age predicted the integrity of the corticospinal tract and peduncles, respectively. Further studies are needed to determine which of these white matter differences relate to the neural basis of stuttering and which reflect experience-dependent plasticity.

  3. Fine motor skill training enhances functional plasticity of the corticospinal tract after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jian; Yang, Xiao-yu; Xia, Wei-wei; Dong, Jian; Yang, Mao-guang; Jiao, Jian-hang

    2016-01-01

    Following central nervous system injury, axonal sprouts form distal to the injury site and extend into the denervated area, reconstructing neural circuits through neural plasticity. How to facilitate this plasticity has become the key to the success of central nervous system repair. It remains controversial whether fine motor skill training contributes to the recovery of neurological function after spinal cord injury. Therefore, we established a rat model of unilateral corticospinal tract injury using a pyramidal tract cutting method. Horizontal ladder crawling and food ball grasping training procedures were conducted 2 weeks before injury and 3 days after injury. The neurological function of rat forelimbs was assessed at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 weeks after injury. Axon growth was observed with biotinylated dextran amine anterograde tracing in the healthy corticospinal tract of the denervated area at different time periods. Our results demonstrate that compared with untrained rats, functional recovery was better in the forelimbs and forepaws of trained rats. The number of axons and the expression of growth associated protein 43 were increased at the injury site 3 weeks after corticospinal tract injury. These findings confirm that fine motor skill training promotes central nervous system plasticity in spinal cord injury rats. PMID:28197197

  4. [Participation of the neostriatum transmission system in automation of motor skills in dogs].

    PubMed

    Shapvalova, K B

    2004-12-01

    The study shows that, in spite of high criteria of performing inctrumental reflex, the ability to repeat the reflex performance, the increase in tonic component of the response, a dostinct diagonal pattern of posture readjustment, and the local (not diffuse) projection of the mass centre position upon tensoplatforms of anterior paws were only observed after a prolonged training that led to automation of the skill. The instrumental response automation effect could be obtained at once following a bilateral microinjection of carbacholine into the neostriatum. The same albeit a weaker effect could be obtained with bilateral microinjections of D2 Dopamine receptor blocking agent Raclopride into the neostriatum. Bilateral injections of Pyrenzepine yield an opposite result: an increase in the physical component of the response < a disorder in the diagonal pattern of posture readjustment, and a diffuse nature of projection of the mass centre position of anterior paws on tensoplatforms. Indirect efferent output of the neostriatum seems to play an important role in motor instrumental reflex as well as in the process of automation of the motor skill.

  5. Grounding Early Intervention: Physical Therapy Cannot Just Be About Motor Skills Anymore

    PubMed Central

    Harbourne, Regina T.; Dusing, Stacey C.; McCoy, Sarah Westcott

    2013-01-01

    This perspective article provides support for 4 interrelated tenets: grounded perceptual-motor experience within cultural and social contexts forms cognition; exploration through early behaviors, such as object interaction, sitting, and locomotion, broadly facilitates development; infants and children with limited exploration are at risk for global developmental impairments; and early interventions targeting exploratory behaviors may be feasible and effective at advancing a range of abilities across developmental domains and time. These tenets emphasize that through the promotion of early perceptual-motor behaviors, broader, more global developmental advancements can be facilitated and future delays can be minimized across domains for infants and children with special needs. Researchers, educators, and clinicians should build on these tenets to further demonstrate the effectiveness of targeted early interventions. The goals of these interventions should be not only to advance targeted perceptual-motor skills in the moment but also to more broadly advance future abilities and meet the early intervention goal of maximizing children's learning potential. PMID:23001524

  6. Somatosensory Electrical Stimulation Does Not Augment Motor Skill Acquisition and Intermanual Transfer in Healthy Young Adults - A Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Négyesi, János; Veldman, Menno P; Berghuis, Kelly M M; Javet, Marie; Tihanyi, József; Hortobágyi, Tibor

    2017-03-24

    Sensory input can modify motor function and magnify interlimb transfer. We examined the effects of low-intensity somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) on motor practice-induced (MP) skill acquisition and intermanual transfer. Participants practiced a visuomotor skill for 25 minutes and received SES to the practice or the transfer arm. Responses to single- and double pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) were measured in both extensor carpi radialis. SES did not further increase skill acquisition (RMP: 30.8%, RMP+RSES: 27.8%) and intermanual transfer (RMP: 13.6%, RMP+RSES: 9.8%) when delivered to the left arm (RMP+LSES: 44.8%, 18.6%, respectively). Furthermore, TMS measures revealed no changes in either hand. Future studies should systematically manipulate SES parameters to better understand the mechanisms of how SES affords motor learning benefits documented but not studied in patients.

  7. The effect of cerebellar transplantation and enforced physical activity on motor skills and spatial learning in adult Lurcher mutant mice.

    PubMed

    Cendelín, Jan; Korelusová, Ivana; Vozeh, Frantisek

    2009-03-01

    Lurcher mutant mice represent a model of olivocerebellar degeneration. They are used to investigate cerebellar functions, consequences of cerebellar degeneration and methods of therapy influencing them. The aim of the work was to assess the effect of foetal cerebellar graft transplantation, repeated enforced physical activity and the combination of both these types of treatment on motor skills, spontaneous motor activity and spatial learning ability in adult B6CBA Lurcher mice. Foetal cerebellar grafts were applied into the cerebellum of Lurchers in the form of solid tissue pieces. Enforced motor activity was realised through rotarod training. Motor functions were examined using bar, ladder and rotarod tests. Spatial learning was tested in the Morris water maze. Spontaneous motor activity in the open field was observed. The presence of the graft was examined histologically. Enforced physical activity led to moderate improvement of some motor skills and to a significant amelioration of spatial learning ability in Lurchers. The transplantation of cerebellar tissue did not influence motor functions significantly but led to an improvement of spatial learning ability. Mutual advancement of the effects of both types of treatment was not observed. Spontaneous motor activity was influenced neither by physical activity nor by the transplantation. Physical activity did not influence the graft survival and development. Because nerve sprouting and cell migration from the graft to the host cerebellum was poor, the functional effects of the graft should be explained with regard to its trophic influence rather than with any involvement of the grafted cells into neural circuitries.

  8. The influence of a real job on upper limb performance in motor skill tests: which abilities are transferred?

    PubMed

    Giangiardi, Vivian Farahte; Alouche, Sandra Regina; de Freitas, Sandra Maria Sbeghen Ferreira; Pires, Raquel Simoni; Padula, Rosimeire Simprini

    2017-03-28

    To investigate whether the specificities of real jobs create distinctions in the performance of workers in different motor tests for the upper limbs, 24 participants were divided into two groups according to their specific job: fine and repetitive tasks and general tasks. Both groups reproduced tasks related to aiming movements, handling and strength of the upper limbs. There were no significant differences between groups in the dexterity and performance of aiming movements. However, the general tasks group had higher grip strength than the repetitive tasks group, demonstrating differences according to job specificity. The results suggest that a particular motor skill in a specific job cannot improve performance in other tasks with the same motor requirements. The transfer of the fine and gross motor skills from previous experience in a job-specific task is the basis for allocating training and guidance to workers.

  9. Motor Skills and Exercise Capacity Are Associated with Objective Measures of Cognitive Functions and Academic Performance in Preadolescent Children

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Richard; Larsen, Malte Nejst; Dahn, Ida Marie; Andersen, Josefine Needham; Krause-Jensen, Matilde; Korup, Vibeke; Nielsen, Claus Malta; Wienecke, Jacob; Ritz, Christian; Krustrup, Peter; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2016-01-01

    Objective To investigate associations between motor skills, exercise capacity and cognitive functions, and evaluate how they correlate to academic performance in mathematics and reading comprehension using standardised, objective tests. Methods This cross-sectional study included 423 Danish children (age: 9.29±0.35 years, 209 girls). Fine and gross motor skills were evaluated in a visuomotor accuracy-tracking task, and a whole-body coordination task, respectively. Exercise capacity was estimated from the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children's test (YYIR1C). Selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) were used to assess different domains of cognitive functions, including sustained attention, spatial working memory, episodic and semantic memory, and processing speed. Linear mixed-effects models were used to investigate associations between these measures and the relationship with standard tests of academic performance in mathematics and reading comprehension. Results Both fine and gross motor skills were associated with better performance in all five tested cognitive domains (all P<0.001), whereas exercise capacity was only associated with better sustained attention (P<0.046) and spatial working memory (P<0.038). Fine and gross motor skills (all P<0.001), exercise capacity and cognitive functions such as working memory, episodic memory, sustained attention and processing speed were all associated with better performance in mathematics and reading comprehension. Conclusions The data demonstrate that fine and gross motor skills are positively correlated with several aspects of cognitive functions and with academic performance in both mathematics and reading comprehension. Moreover, exercise capacity was associated with academic performance and performance in some cognitive domains. Future interventions should investigate associations between changes in motor skills, exercise capacity, cognitive functions, and academic

  10. Visual-motor deficits relate to altered gray and white matter in young adults born preterm with very low birth weight.

    PubMed

    Sripada, Kam; Løhaugen, Gro C; Eikenes, Live; Bjørlykke, Kjerstin M; Håberg, Asta K; Skranes, Jon; Rimol, Lars M

    2015-04-01

    Individuals born preterm and at very low birth weight (birth weight ≤ 1500 g) are at an increased risk of perinatal brain injury and neurodevelopmental deficits over the long term. This study examined whether this clinical group has more problems with visual-motor integration, motor coordination, and visual perception compared to term-born controls, and related these findings to cortical surface area and thickness and white matter fractional anisotropy. Forty-seven preterm-born very low birth weight individuals and 56 term-born controls were examined at 18-22 years of age with a combined cognitive, morphometric MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging evaluation in Trondheim, Norway. Visual-motor skills were evaluated with the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration-V (VMI) copying test and its supplemental tests of motor coordination and visual perception. 3D T1-weighted MPRAGE images and diffusion tensor imaging were done at 1.5 T. Cortical reconstruction generated in FreeSurfer and voxelwise maps of fractional anisotropy calculated with Tract-Based Spatial Statistics were used to explore the relationship between MRI findings and cognitive results. Very low birth weight individuals had significantly lower scores on the copying and motor coordination tests compared with controls. In the very low birth weight group, VMI scores showed significant positive relationships with cortical surface area in widespread regions, with reductions of the superior temporal gyrus, insula, and medial occipital lobe in conjunction with the posterior ventral temporal lobe. Visual perception scores also showed positive relationships with cortical thickness in the very low birth weight group, primarily in the lateral occipito-temporo-parietal junction, the superior temporal gyrus, insula, and superior parietal regions. In the very low birth weight group, visual-motor performance correlated positively with fractional anisotropy especially in the corpus callosum

  11. Progressive impairment in motor skill learning at 12 and 20 weeks post 6-OHDA- SNc lesion in rats.

    PubMed

    Gambhir, Hardeep; Mathur, Rashmi; Behari, Madhuri

    2011-07-01

    Deficiency in skilled motor activity is primarily attributed to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the pars compacta of substantia nigra (SNc), which can be detected by performance of the rotarod test. Previous reports have demonstrated impaired skilled motor behavior in rats during the pre-motor stage of Parkinson's disease (PD) (3-8 weeks post 6-OHDA lesion of striatum). We studied skilled motor learning in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) SNc lesion rats at 12 and 20 weeks by rotarod task after providing sufficient training to give allowance for ageing (3 sessions/day for 14 consecutive days). On each day, the stay duration on rotarod was noted and compared between the groups (Group 1 = Control, Group 2 = Post lesion (PL) week 12, Group 3 = PL week 20). In Group 2 rats, the duration of stay on rotarod gradually increased from day 1 through 7 {day 7 = 193.1 (81.8-247.4) vs. control group day 7 = 202.1 (87.7-279.8), p = 0.771} and declined thereafter. While, the stay duration in Group 3 rats remained lower {day 7 = 32.5 (20.4-52.1), p = 0.011} than that of the control rats throughout the study period. The results of our study suggest a slower brief learning of skilled motor tasks at post lesion week 12 whereas no learning at all at post-lesion week 20.

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF A MICROSCALE EMISSION FACTOR MODEL FOR PARTICULATE MATTER (MICROFACPM) FOR PREDICTING REAL TIME MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Health risk evaluation needs precise measurement and modeling of human exposures in microenvironments to support review of current air quality standards. The particulate matter emissions from motor vehicles are a major component of human exposures in urban microenvironments. Cu...

  13. Locomotor play drives motor skill acquisition at the expense of growth: A life history trade-off

    PubMed Central

    Berghänel, Andreas; Schülke, Oliver; Ostner, Julia

    2015-01-01

    The developmental costs and benefits of early locomotor play are a puzzling topic in biology, psychology, and health sciences. Evolutionary theory predicts that energy-intensive behavior such as play can only evolve if there are considerable benefits. Prominent theories propose that locomotor play is (i) low cost, using surplus energy remaining after growth and maintenance, and (ii) beneficial because it trains motor skills. However, both theories are largely untested. Studying wild Assamese macaques, we combined behavioral observations of locomotor play and motor skill acquisition with quantitative measures of natural food availability and individual growth rates measured noninvasively via photogrammetry. Our results show that investments in locomotor play were indeed beneficial by accelerating motor skill acquisition but carried sizable costs in terms of reduced growth. Even under moderate natural energy restriction, investment in locomotor play accounted for up to 50% of variance in growth, which strongly contradicts the current theory that locomotor play only uses surplus energy remaining after growth and maintenance. Male immatures played more, acquired motor skills faster, and grew less than female immatures, leading to persisting size differences until the age of female maturity. Hence, depending on skill requirements, investment in play can take ontogenetic priority over physical development unconstrained by costs of play with consequences for life history, which strongly highlights the ontogenetic and evolutionary importance of play. PMID:26601237

  14. White matter microstructure and volitional motor activity in schizophrenia: A diffusion kurtosis imaging study.

    PubMed

    Docx, Lise; Emsell, Louise; Van Hecke, Wim; De Bondt, Timo; Parizel, Paul M; Sabbe, Bernard; Morrens, Manuel

    2017-02-28

    Avolition is a core feature of schizophrenia and may arise from altered brain connectivity. Here we used diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) to investigate the association between white matter (WM) microstructure and volitional motor activity. Multi-shell diffusion MRI and 24-h actigraphy data were obtained from 20 right-handed patients with schizophrenia and 16 right-handed age and gender matched healthy controls. We examined correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), mean kurtosis (MK), and motor activity level, as well as group differences in these measures. In the patient group, increasing motor activity level was positively correlated with MK in the inferior, medial and superior longitudinal fasciculus, the corpus callosum, the posterior fronto-occipital fasciculus and the posterior cingulum. This association was not found in control subjects or in DTI measures. These results show that a lack of volitional motor activity in schizophrenia is associated with potentially altered WM microstructure in posterior brain regions associated with cognitive function and motivation. This could reflect both illness related dysconnectivity which through altered cognition, manifests as reduced volitional motor activity, and/or the effects of reduced physical activity on brain WM.

  15. 76 FR 28808 - In the Matter of Certain Starter Motors And Alternators; Notice of Commission Decision Not To...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-18

    ...: Yun Sheng USA, Inc. 395 Oyster Point, Blvd., Ste 230, San Francisco, California 94080; Electric Motor... COMMISSION In the Matter of Certain Starter Motors And Alternators; Notice of Commission Decision Not To... of investigation to name Yun Sheng USA Inc. of San Francisco, California (``Yun Sheng'') and...

  16. Motor skill for tool-use is associated with asymmetries in Broca's area and the motor hand area of the precentral gyrus in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Hopkins, William D; Meguerditchian, Adrien; Coulon, Olivier; Misiura, Maria; Pope, Sarah; Mareno, Mary Catherine; Schapiro, Steven J

    2017-02-01

    Among nonhuman primates, chimpanzees are well known for their sophistication and diversity of tool use in both captivity and the wild. The evolution of tool manufacture and use has been proposed as a driving mechanism for the development of increasing brain size, complex cognition and motor skills, as well as the population-level handedness observed in modern humans. Notwithstanding, our understanding of the neurological correlates of tool use in chimpanzees and other primates remains poorly understood. Here, we assessed the hand preference and performance skill of chimpanzees on a tool use task and correlated these data with measures of neuroanatomical asymmetries in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the pli-de-passage fronto-parietal moyen (PPFM). The IFG is the homolog to Broca's area in the chimpanzee brain and the PPFM is a buried gyrus that connects the pre- and post-central gyri and corresponds to the motor-hand area of the precentral gyrus. We found that chimpanzees that performed the task better with their right compared to left hand showed greater leftward asymmetries in the IFG and PPFM. This association between hand performance and PPFM asymmetry was particularly robust for right-handed individuals. Based on these findings, we propose that the evolution of tool use was associated with increased left hemisphere specialization for motor skill. We further suggest that lateralization in motor planning, rather than hand preference per se, was selected for with increasing tool manufacture and use in Hominid evolution.

  17. Cerebellar white matter pathways are associated with reading skills in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Travis, Katherine E; Leitner, Yael; Feldman, Heidi M; Ben-Shachar, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Reading is a critical life skill in the modern world. The neural basis of reading incorporates a distributed network of cortical areas and their white matter connections. The cerebellum has also been implicated in reading and reading disabilities. However, little is known about the contribution of cerebellar white matter pathways to major component skills of reading. We used diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) with tractography to identify the cerebellar peduncles in a group of 9- to 17-year-old children and adolescents born full term (FT, n = 19) or preterm (PT, n = 26). In this cohort, no significant differences were found between fractional anisotropy (FA) measures of the peduncles in the PT and FT groups. FA of the cerebellar peduncles correlated significantly with measures of decoding and reading comprehension in the combined sample of FT and PT subjects. Correlations were negative in the superior and inferior cerebellar peduncles and positive in the middle cerebellar peduncle. Additional analyses revealed that FT and PT groups demonstrated similar patterns of reading associations within the left superior cerebellar peduncle, middle cerebellar peduncle, and left inferior cerebellar peduncle. Partial correlation analyses showed that distinct sub-skills of reading were associated with FA in segments of different cerebellar peduncles. Overall, the present findings are the first to document associations of microstructure of the cerebellar peduncles and the component skills of reading.

  18. Comparing a parent-report and a performance-based measure of children's motor skill abilities: are they associated?

    PubMed

    Brown, Ted; Lane, Haylee

    2014-10-01

    Both parent-report and performance-based assessment approaches are used in occupational therapy practice to gather information about children's motor skill abilities. This study investigated whether an association existed between the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency- 2(nd) edition (BOT-2), a performance-based motor-skill assessment and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children - 2(nd) edition (MABC-2) Checklist, a parent-report scale of children's motor abilities. A convenience sample of 50 typically developing children aged 7-16 years were recruited. Scores from the BOT-2 and MABC-2 Checklist were analyzed using Spearman's rho correlations and linear regression analyses with several significant correlations found. The following BOT-2 derived scores were correlated with the MABC-2 Checklist: (1) BOT-2 subscales of Fine Motor Precision (rho = .33, p < .05), Manual Dexterity (rho = .28, p < .05), and Upper-Limb Coordination (rho = .39, p < .05); (2) the BOT-2 motor composite areas of Fine Motor Control (rho = .30, p < .05), and Manual Coordination (rho = .33, p < .05); and (3) the BOT-2 Short Form total score (rho = .28, p < .05). Regression analysis indicated that the MABC-2 Checklist was significantly associated with the BOT-2 Fine Manual Control and Manual Coordination composite area scores.

  19. Biometric validation of a virtual reality-based psychomotor test for motor skill training.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenjuan; Ma, Wenqi; Brandao, Maicom; Kaber, David B; Bloomfield, Peter; Swangnetr, Manida

    2016-03-24

    Psychomotor tests have been applied in clinical therapy and laboratory research as tools for evaluating motor and cognitive skills. Some studies have developed computerized versions of such tests using virtual reality (VR) systems with haptic interface controls. These systems allow for increased flexibility in test delivery and accuracy in performance assessment. In this study, a VR-based computer simulation of the block design (BD) test (a standardized psychomotor task as part of an adult IQ test) was developed and compared with the physical version of the test. Performance was evaluated based on four types of muscle activation collected using electromyography (EMG), time spent in completing the task, and subjective ratings of workload. Results verified the VR-based task as physically comparable to the conventional BD test. The validated computerized psychomotor task may be applied for both experimental and clinical use in future studies.

  20. Kinesthetic and visual image in modeling closed motor skills: the example of the tennis serve.

    PubMed

    Féry, Y A; Morizot, P

    2000-06-01

    It was assumed that kinesthetic modeling has more beneficial effects on learning the tennis serve than visual modeling because the spatial anchor points used to reach targets within the vicinity of the body are mainly defined with respect to the body. Also, we predicted that the efficiency of modeling is also affected by the way the representations are activated mentally. Thirty two participants were assigned to kinesthetic or visual modeling with or without mental practice. Analyses showed the primacy of kinesthetic representation over visual representation in terms of speed scores and form performances but only if the learner had the opportunity to rehearse the model mentally. The results support the contention that the motor system can program closed skills more easily when one can represent efficiently the kinesthetic image of its later execution.

  1. BDNF increases homotypic olivocerebellar reinnervation and associated fine motor and cognitive skill.

    PubMed

    Willson, Melina L; McElnea, Catriona; Mariani, Jean; Lohof, Ann M; Sherrard, Rachel M

    2008-04-01

    Recovery of complex neural function after injury to the adult CNS is limited by minimal spontaneous axonal regeneration and/or sprouting from remaining pathways. In contrast, the developing CNS displays spontaneous reorganization following lesion, in which uninjured axons can develop new projections to appropriate target neurons and provide partial recovery of complex behaviours. Similar pathways can be induced in the mature CNS, providing models to optimize post-injury recovery of complex neural functions. After unilateral transection of a developing olivocerebellar path (pedunculotomy), remaining inferior olivary axons topographically reinnervate the denervated hemicerebellum and compensate functional deficits. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) partly recreates such reinnervation in the mature cerebellum. However the function of this incomplete reinnervation and any unwanted behavioural effects of BDNF remain unknown. We measured olivocerebellar reinnervation and tested rotarod and navigation skills in Wistar rats treated with BDNF/vehicle and pedunculotomized on day 3 (Px3; with reinnervation) or 11 (Px11; without spontaneous reinnervation). BDNF treatment did not affect motor or spatial behaviour in normal (control) animals. Px11-BDNF animals equalled controls on the rotarod, outperforming Px11-vehicle animals. Moreover, Px3-BDNF and Px11-BDNF animals achieved spatial learning and memory tasks as well as controls, with Px11-BDNF animals showing better spatial orientation than Px11-vehicle counterparts. BDNF slightly increased olivocerebellar reinnervation in Px3 animals and induced sparse (22% Purkinje cells) yet widespread reinnervation in Px11 animals. As reinnervation correlated with spatial function, these data imply that after injury even a small amount of reinnervation that is homotypic to correct target neurons compensates deficits in appropriate complex motor and spatial skills. As there was no effect in control animals, BDNF effectively induces

  2. Motor imagery-based skill acquisition disrupted following rTMS of the inferior parietal lobule.

    PubMed

    Kraeutner, Sarah N; Keeler, Laura T; Boe, Shaun G

    2016-02-01

    Motor imagery (MI), the mental rehearsal of motor tasks, has promise as a therapy in post-stroke rehabilitation. The potential effectiveness of MI is attributed to the facilitation of plasticity in numerous brain regions akin to those recruited for physical practice. It is suggested, however, that MI relies more heavily on regions commonly affected post-stroke, including left hemisphere parietal regions involved in visuospatial processes. However, the impact of parietal damage on MI-based skill acquisition that underlies rehabilitation remains unclear. Here, we examine the contribution of the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) to MI using inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and an MI-based implicit sequence learning (ISL) paradigm. Participants (N = 27) completed the MI-based ISL paradigm after receiving continuous theta burst stimulation to the left IPL (TMS), or with the coil angled away from the scalp (sham). Reaction time differences (dRT) and effect sizes between implicit and random sequences assessed success of MI-based learning. Mean dRT for the sham group was 36.1 ± 28.2 ms (d = 0.71). Mean dRT in the TMS group was 7.7 ± 38.5 ms (d = 0.11). These results indicate that inhibition of the left IPL impaired MI-based learning. We conclude that the IPL and likely the visuospatial processes it mediates are critical for MI performance and thus MI-based skill acquisition or learning. Ultimately, these findings have implications for the use of MI in post-stroke rehabilitation.

  3. The inferior olive is essential for long-term maintenance of a simple motor skill.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiang Yang; Wang, Yu; Chen, Yi; Chen, Lu; Wolpaw, Jonathan R

    2016-10-01

    The inferior olive (IO) is essential for operant down-conditioning of the rat soleus H-reflex, a simple motor skill. To evaluate the role of the IO in long-term maintenance of this skill, the H-reflex was down-conditioned over 50 days, the IO was chemically ablated, and down-conditioning continued for up to 102 more days. H-reflex size just before IO ablation averaged 62(±2 SE)% of its initial value (P < 0.001 vs. initial). After IO ablation, H-reflex size rose to 75-80% over ∼10 days, remained there for ∼30 days, rose over 10 days to above its initial value, and averaged 140(±14)% for the final 10 days of study (P < 0.01 vs. initial). This two-stage loss of down-conditioning maintenance correlated with IO neuronal loss (r = 0.75, P < 0.01) and was similar to the loss of down-conditioning that follows ablation of the cerebellar output nuclei dentate and interpositus. In control (i.e., unconditioned) rats, IO ablation has no long-term effect on H-reflex size. These results indicate that the IO is essential for long-term maintenance of a down-conditioned H-reflex. With previous data, they support the hypothesis that IO and cortical inputs to cerebellum combine to produce cerebellar plasticity that produces sensorimotor cortex plasticity that produces spinal cord plasticity that produces the smaller H-reflex. H-reflex down-conditioning appears to depend on a hierarchy of plasticity that may be guided by the IO and begin in the cerebellum. Similar hierarchies may underlie other motor learning.

  4. Comparing Motor Skills in Autism Spectrum Individuals With and Without Speech Delay

    PubMed Central

    Barbeau, Elise B.; Meilleur, Andrée‐Anne S.; Zeffiro, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Movement atypicalities in speed, coordination, posture, and gait have been observed across the autism spectrum (AS) and atypicalities in coordination are more commonly observed in AS individuals without delayed speech (DSM‐IV Asperger) than in those with atypical or delayed speech onset. However, few studies have provided quantitative data to support these mostly clinical observations. Here, we compared perceptual and motor performance between 30 typically developing and AS individuals (21 with speech delay and 18 without speech delay) to examine the associations between limb movement control and atypical speech development. Groups were matched for age, intelligence, and sex. The experimental design included: an inspection time task, which measures visual processing speed; the Purdue Pegboard, which measures finger dexterity, bimanual performance, and hand‐eye coordination; the Annett Peg Moving Task, which measures unimanual goal‐directed arm movement; and a simple reaction time task. We used analysis of covariance to investigate group differences in task performance and linear regression models to explore potential associations between intelligence, language skills, simple reaction time, and visually guided movement performance. AS participants without speech delay performed slower than typical participants in the Purdue Pegboard subtests. AS participants without speech delay showed poorer bimanual coordination than those with speech delay. Visual processing speed was slightly faster in both AS groups than in the typical group. Altogether, these results suggest that AS individuals with and without speech delay differ in visually guided and visually triggered behavior and show that early language skills are associated with slower movement in simple and complex motor tasks. Autism Res 2015, 8: 682–693. © 2015 The Authors Autism Research published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Autism Research PMID:25820662

  5. The Relationships among Fundamental Motor Skills, Health-Related Physical Fitness, and Body Fatness in South Korean Adolescents with Mental Retardation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foley, John T.; Harvey, Stephen; Chun, Hae-Ja; Kim, So-Yeun

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the following: (a) the relationships among the latent constructs of fundamental motor skills (FMS), health-related physical fitness (HRF), and observed body fatness in South Korean adolescents with mental retardation (MR); (b) the indirect effect of fundamental motor skills on body fatness when mediated by…

  6. Motor and Tactile-Perceptual Skill Differences between Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Typically Developing Individuals Ages 5-21

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abu-Dahab, Sana M. N.; Skidmore, Elizabeth R.; Holm, Margo B.; Rogers, Joan C.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2013-01-01

    We examined motor and tactile-perceptual skills in individuals with high-functioning autism (IHFA) and matched typically developing individuals (TDI) ages 5-21 years. Grip strength, motor speed and coordination were impaired in IHFA compared to matched TDI, and the differences between groups varied with age. Although tactile-perceptual skills of…

  7. Team-Teaching in Physical Education for Promoting Coordinative Motor Skills in Children: The More You Invest the More You Get

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardaglio, Giulia; Marasso, Danilo; Magno, Francesca; Rabaglietti, Emanuela; Ciairano, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    Background: Standard physical education (PE) programs and the team-teaching methodology have rarely been evaluated to investigate their real efficacy in changing children's motor skills. Aims: The aims of this study are two-fold: The first aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of a PE program for improving coordinative motor skills in the team…

  8. Building the Vocational Phase of the Computerized Motor Skills Testing System for Use in the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Group and Hospitality Group

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hsiao, Hsien-Sheng; Chen, Jyun-Chen; Hong, Kunde

    2016-01-01

    Technical and vocational education emphasizes the development and training of hand motor skills. However, some problems exist in the current career and aptitude tests in that they do not truly measure the hand motor skills. This study used the Nintendo Wii Remote Controller as the testing device in developing a set of computerized testing tools to…

  9. Effects of Increased Physical Activity on Motor Skills and Marks in Physical Education: An Intervention Study in School Years 1 through 9 in Sweden

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ericsson, Ingegerd

    2011-01-01

    Background: Studies have shown that some children do not participate in sport or exercise because they did not establish early coordination and basic motor skills while at school. Basic motor skills form significant parts of the goals for students to achieve in the Swedish school subject Physical Education and Health (PEH). Aims: The aim was to…

  10. Postural control, motor skills, and health-related quality of life in children with hearing impairment: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Rajendran, Venkadesan; Roy, Finita Glory; Jeevanantham, Deepa

    2012-04-01

    Children with hearing impairment have balance and motor deficits primarily due to concomitant damage to the vestibular structures. Psycho-intellectual and social developmental disorders, as well as elimination of social activities and participation may diminish health-related quality of life in these children. Despite the documentation, assessment of balance, motor deficits, and health-related quality of life of these children are not included in the educational program, unless obvious neurological or orthopedic disorders are diagnosed. The objective of this review was to systematically analyze the available information in the literatures regarding the postural control, motor skills, and health-related quality of life in children with hearing impairment. Searches of data sources PubMed, MEDLINE, CINHAL, EMBASE, SCOPUS, ISI of web science, Cochrane Library, and AMED database were performed from the earliest to 7 February 2011. Study eligibility criteria included non-interventional studies that addressed postural control, motor skills, and health-related quality of life in children with hearing impairment. For each eligible article, data were extracted using custom-designed forms by a single investigator. Collected data included study demographics, study design, study population, sample size, outcome measures, and results. A total of 11,872 articles were retrieved, and 17 articles were found to be eligible for inclusion. Of the 17 articles included, five articles analyzed health-related quality of life alone, two articles analyzed balance alone, two articles analyzed motor performance alone, two articles analyzed vestibular dysfunction alone, two articles included both vestibular dysfunction and balance, two articles included both motor performance and balance, and two articles investigated vestibular, balance as well as motor impairments. Heterogeneity of the studies prevented us from performing methodological quality assessment and meta-analysis. The results of

  11. Preliminary evaluation of SensHand V1 in assessing motor skills performance in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Cavallo, Filippo; Esposito, Dario; Rovini, Erika; Aquilano, Michela; Carrozza, Maria Chiara; Dario, Paolo; Maremmani, Carlo; Bongioanni, Paolo

    2013-06-01

    Nowadays, the increasing old population 65+ as well as the pace imposed by work activities lead to a high number of people that have particular injuries for limbs. In addition to persistent or temporary disabilities related to accidental injuries we must take into account that part of the population suffers from motor deficits of the hands due to stroke or diseases of various clinical nature. The most recurrent technological solutions to measure the rehabilitation or skill motor performance of the hand are glove-based devices, able to faithfully capture the movements of the hand and fingers. This paper presents a system for hand motion analysis based on 9-axis complete inertial modules and dedicated microcontroller which are fixed on fingers and forearm. The technological solution presented is able to track the patients' hand motions in real-time and then to send data through wireless communication reducing the clutter and the disadvantages of a glove equipped with sensors through a different technological structure. The device proposed has been tested in the study of Parkinson's disease.

  12. A test of motor skill-specific action embodiment in ice-hockey players.

    PubMed

    Ong, Nicole T; Lohse, Keith R; Chua, Romeo; Sinnett, Scott; Hodges, Nicola J

    2014-07-01

    To further our understanding of the role of the motor system in comprehending action-related sentences, we compared action experts (athletes) to visual experts (fans) and novices when responding with an action-specific effector (either hand or foot). These conditions allowed inferences about the degree and specificity of embodiment in language comprehension. Ice hockey players, fans and novices made speeded judgments regarding the congruence between an auditorily presented sentence and a subsequently presented picture. Picture stimuli consisted of either hockey or everyday items. Half of these pictures 'matched' the action implied in the preceding sentence. Further, the action in these images involved either primarily the hand or the foot. For everyday items, action-matched items were responded to faster than action-mismatched items. However, only the players and fans showed the action-match effect for hockey items. There were no consistent effector-stimuli compatibility effects, nor skill-based interactions with compatibility, suggesting that the action-match effect was not based on motor ability per se, but rather a construction of the action based on knowledge or visual experience with the hockey related sentences.

  13. Short-term manganese inhalation decreases brain dopamine transporter levels without disrupting motor skills in rats.

    PubMed

    Saputra, Devina; Chang, JuOae; Lee, Byeong-Jae; Yoon, Jin-Ha; Kim, Jonghan; Lee, Kyuhong

    2016-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is used in industrial metal alloys and can be released into the atmosphere during methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl combustion. Increased Mn deposition in the brain after long-term exposure to the metal by inhalation is associated with altered dopamine metabolism and neurobehavioral problems, including impaired motor skills. However, neurotoxic effects of short-term exposure to inhaled Mn are not completely characterized. The purpose of this study is to define the neurobehavioral and neurochemical effects of short-term inhalation exposure to Mn at a high concentration using rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to MnCl2 aerosol in a nose-only inhalation chamber for 3 weeks (1.2 µm, 39 mg/m(3)). Motor coordination was tested on the day after the last exposure using a rotarod device at a fixed speed of 10 rpm for 2 min. Also, dopamine transporter and dopamine receptor protein expression levels in the striatum region of the brain were determined by Western blot analysis. At a rotarod speed of 10 rpm, there were no significant differences in the time on the bar before the first fall or the number of falls during the two-minute test observed in the exposed rats, as compared with controls. The Mn-exposed group had significantly higher Mn levels in the lung, blood, olfactory bulb, prefrontal cortex, striatum, and cerebellum compared with the control group. A Mn concentration gradient was observed from the olfactory bulb to the striatum, supporting the idea that Mn is transported via the olfactory pathway. Our results demonstrated that inhalation exposure to 39 mg/m(3) Mn for 3 weeks induced mild lung injury and modulation of dopamine transporter expression in the brain, without altering motor activity.

  14. Effects of Electrical Stimulation, Exercise Training and Motor Skills Training on Strength of Children with Meningomyelocele: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dagenais, Liese M.; Lahay, Erin R.; Stueck, Kailey A.; White, Erin; Williams, Lindsay; Harris, Susan R.

    2009-01-01

    This systematic review provides a critical synthesis of research regarding the effects of electrical stimulation, exercise training, and motor skills training on muscle strength in children with meningomyelocele. Nine databases were searched using terms related to meningomyelocele and physical therapy interventions. Of 298 potentially relevant…

  15. Pairing Learners by Companionship: Effects on Motor Skill Performance and Comfort Levels in the Reciprocal Style of Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chatoupis, Constantine

    2015-01-01

    Mosston and Ashworth's (2008) reciprocal style of teaching gives learners the opportunity to work in pairs to support each other's learning (one practices a task and the other gives feedback). The effects of pairing learners by companionship (friend and nonacquaintance) on 8-year-old children's motor skill performance and comfort levels were…

  16. Training the Motor Aspects of Pre-Driving Skills of Young Adults with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooks, Johnell; Kellett, Julie; Seeanner, Julia; Jenkins, Casey; Buchanan, Caroline; Kinsman, Anne; Kelly, Desmond; Pierce, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of using a driving simulator to address the motor aspects of pre-driving skills with young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A group of neurotypical control participants and ten participants with ASD completed 18 interactive steering and pedal exercises with the goal to achieve…

  17. Video Games: Utilization of a Novel Strategy to Improve Perceptual-Motor Skills in the Non-Institutionalized Elderly.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drew, Benjamin; Waters, Judith

    One of the most serious problems associated with aging concerns the decline in perceptual-motor skills, due to illness and/or lack of use based on poor motivation. Investigations of training programs to improve hand-eye coordination have yielded mixed results. A study was conducted to examine the effects of a training program to improve hand-eye…

  18. The Effect of Stereotype Threat on Performance of a Rhythmic Motor Skill

    PubMed Central

    Huber, Meghan E.; Seitchik, Allison E.; Brown, Adam J.; Sternad, Dagmar; Harkins, Stephen G.

    2015-01-01

    Many studies using cognitive tasks have found that stereotype threat, or concern about confirming a negative stereotype about one's group, debilitates performance. The few studies that documented similar effects on sensorimotor performance have used only relatively coarse measures to quantify performance. Three experiments tested the effect of stereotype threat on a rhythmic ball bouncing task, both at the novice and skilled level. Previous analysis of the task dynamics afforded more detailed quantification of the effect of threat on motor control. In this task, novices hit the ball with positive racket acceleration, indicative of unstable performance. With practice, they learn to stabilize error by changing their ball-racket impact from positive to negative acceleration. Results showed that for novices, stereotype threat potentiated hitting the ball with positive racket acceleration, leading to poorer performance of stigmatized females. However, when the threat manipulation was delivered after having acquired some skill, reflected by negative racket acceleration, the stigmatized females performed better. These findings are consistent with the mere effort account that argues that stereotype threat potentiates the most likely response on the given task. The study also demonstrates the value of identifying the control mechanisms through which stereotype threat has its effects on outcome measures. PMID:25706769

  19. Infusing Motor Learning Research Into Neurorehabilitation Practice: A Historical Perspective With Case Exemplar From the Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program

    PubMed Central

    Winstein, Carolee; Lewthwaite, Rebecca; Blanton, Sarah R.; Wolf, Lois B.; Wishart, Laurie

    2016-01-01

    This special interest article provides a historical framework with a contemporary case example that traces the infusion of the science of motor learning into neurorehabilitation practice. The revolution in neuroscience provided the first evidence for learning-dependent neuroplasticity and presaged the role of motor learning as critical for restorative therapies after stroke. The scientific underpinnings of motor learning have continued to evolve from a dominance of cognitive or information processing perspectives to a blend with neural science and contemporary social-cognitive psychological science. Furthermore, advances in the science of behavior change have contributed insights into influences on sustainable and generalizable gains in motor skills and associated behaviors, including physical activity and other recovery-promoting habits. For neurorehabilitation, these insights have tremendous relevance for the therapist–patient interactions and relationships. We describe a principle-based intervention for neurorehabilitation termed the Accelerated Skill Acquisition Program that we developed. This approach emphasizes integration from a broad set of scientific lines of inquiry including the contemporary fields of motor learning, neuroscience, and the psychological science of behavior change. Three overlapping essential elements—skill acquisition, impairment mitigation, and motivational enhancements—are integrated. PMID:24828523

  20. Investigation of language and motor skills in Serbian speaking children with specific language impairment and in typically developing children.

    PubMed

    Vukovic, Mile; Vukovic, Irena; Stojanovik, Vesna

    2010-01-01

    Specific language impairment (SLI) is usually defined as a developmental language disorder which does not result from a hearing loss, autism, neurological and emotional difficulties, severe social deprivation, low non-verbal abilities. Children affected with SLI typically have difficulties with the acquisition of different aspects of language and by definition, their impairment is specific to language and no other skills are affected. However, there has been a growing body of literature to suggest that children with SLI also have non-linguistic deficits, including impaired motor abilities. The aim of the current study is to investigate language and motor abilities of a group of thirty children with SLI (aged between 4 and 7) in comparison to a group of 30 typically developing children matched for chronological age. The results showed that the group of children with SLI had significantly more difficulties on the language and motor assessments compared to the control group. The SLI group also showed delayed onset in the development of all motor skills under investigation in comparison to the typically developing group. More interestingly, the two groups differed with respect to which language abilities were correlated with motor abilities, however Imitation of Complex Movements was the unique skill which reliably predicted expressive vocabulary in both typically developing children and in children with SLI.

  1. Modulation of Training by Single-Session Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to the Intact Motor Cortex Enhances Motor Skill Acquisition of the Paretic Hand

    PubMed Central

    Zimerman, Máximo; Heise, Kirstin F.; Hoppe, Julia; Cohen, Leonardo G.; Gerloff, Christian; Hummel, Friedhelm C.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose Mechanisms of skill learning are paramount components for stroke recovery. Recent noninvasive brain stimulation studies demonstrated that decreasing activity in the contralesional motor cortex might be beneficial, providing transient functional improvements after stroke. The more crucial question, however, is whether this intervention can also enhance the acquisition of complex motor tasks, yielding longer-lasting functional improvements. In the present study, we tested the capacity of cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applied over the contralesional motor cortex during training to enhance the acquisition and retention of complex sequential finger movements of the paretic hand. Method Twelve well-recovered chronic patients with subcortical stroke attended 2 training sessions during which either cathodal tDCS or a sham intervention were applied to the contralesional motor cortex in a double-blind, crossover design. Two different motor sequences, matched for their degree of complexity, were tested in a counterbalanced order during as well as 90 minutes and 24 hours after the intervention. Potential underlying mechanisms were evaluated with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Results tDCS facilitated the acquisition of a new motor skill compared with sham stimulation (P=0.04) yielding better task retention results. A significant correlation was observed between the tDCS-induced improvement during training and the tDCS-induced changes of intracortical inhibition (R2=0.63). Conclusions These results indicate that tDCS is a promising tool to improve not only motor behavior, but also procedural learning. They further underline the potential of noninvasive brain stimulation as an adjuvant treatment for long-term recovery, at least in patients with mild functional impairment after stroke. PMID:22618381

  2. SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OF MICROFACPM: A MICROSCALE MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSION FACTOR MODEL FOR PARTICULATE MATTER EMISSIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A microscale emission factor model (MicroFacPM) for predicting real-time site-specific motor vehicle particulate matter emissions was presented in the companion paper entitled "Development of a Microscale Emission Factor Model for Particulate Matter (MicroFacPM) for Predicting Re...

  3. School-Based Fundamental-Motor-Skill Intervention for Children With Autism-Like Characteristics: An Exploratory Study.

    PubMed

    Bremer, Emily; Lloyd, Meghann

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this pilot study was to demonstrate the impact of a fundamental-motor-skill (FMS) intervention on the motor skills of 3- to 7-year-old children with autism-like characteristics in an early intervention classroom. A secondary purpose was to qualitatively assess the impact of the program as described by the classroom's special education teacher. All children in the classroom (N = 5) took part in an FMS intervention for two 6-wk blocks (fall 2013 and winter 2014). Motor-skill proficiency and social skills were assessed at 3 times: baseline, after Block 1 of the intervention, and after Block 2 of the intervention. In addition, an interview was conducted with the classroom teacher after Assessment 3 to draw further insights into the relative success and impact of the program. Results were analyzed through a visual analysis and presented individually. They indicated improvements in the participants' individual FMS and social-skill scores, possible improvements in declarative knowledge, and an increase in the special education teacher's readiness to teach FMS; further research with larger, controlled samples is warranted.

  4. Predicting Motor Skills from Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire Scores, Language Ability, and Other Features of New Zealand Children Entering Primary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sargisson, Rebecca J.; Powell, Cheniel; Stanley, Peter; de Candole, Rosalind

    2014-01-01

    The motor and language skills, emotional and behavioural problems of 245 children were measured at school entry. Fine motor scores were significantly predicted by hyperactivity, phonetic awareness, prosocial behaviour, and the presence of medical problems. Gross motor scores were significantly predicted by the presence of medical problems. The…

  5. Relations between fine motor skill and parental report of attention in young children with neurofibromatosis type 1.

    PubMed

    Casnar, Christy L; Janke, Kelly M; van der Fluit, Faye; Brei, Natalie G; Klein-Tasman, Bonita P

    2014-01-01

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is one of the most common genetic disorders presenting in approximately 1 in 3,500 live births. NF1 is a highly variable condition with a large number of complications. A common complication is neuropsychological problems, including developmental delays and learning difficulties that affect as many as 60% of patients. Research has suggested that school-aged children with NF1 often have poorer fine motor skills and are at greater risk for attention difficulties than the general population. Thirty-eight children with NF1 and 23 unaffected children between the ages of 4 and 6 years, who are enrolled in a study of early development in NF1, were included in the present study. Varying levels of fine motor functioning were examined (simple to complex fine motor tasks). For children with NF1, significant difficulties were demonstrated on lab-based mid-level and complex fine motor tasks, even after controlling for nonverbal reasoning abilities, but not on simple fine motor tasks. Parental report also indicated difficulties in everyday adaptive fine motor functioning. No significant correlations were found between complex fine motor ability and attention difficulties. This study provides much needed descriptive data on the early emergence of fine motor difficulties and attention difficulties in young children with NF1.

  6. Anterior motor strip displacement in a boy with right frontal gray matter heterotopia undergoing epilepsy surgery.

    PubMed

    Little, Andrew S; Ng, Yu-Tze; Kerrigan, John F; Treiman, David M; Fram, Evan; Rekate, Harold L

    2007-09-01

    The case of a 14-year-old boy with behavioral problems and medically refractory epilepsy related to symptomatic gray matter heterotopia in the right frontal lobe is reported. The patient underwent subdural cortical grid placement for seizure localization and functional mapping prior to lesionectomy. On the basis of the patient's MRI scan, it was predicted that the motor cortex was located adjacent to the abnormality, well anterior to its expected location. This prediction was confirmed by stimulation mapping. The patient underwent successful resection of the lesion under the guidance of the cortical map. Postoperatively, his seizures and behavior improved markedly. This case highlights how eloquent cortex can rarely be drawn toward a region of gray matter heterotopia. In addition, he is one of the few reported cases of focal cortical dysplasia resection with resultant improved behavior. These observations of unusual cortical representations have implications in epilepsy surgery planning.

  7. Can Perceptuo-Motor Skills Assessment Outcomes in Young Table Tennis Players (7-11 years) Predict Future Competition Participation and Performance? An Observational Prospective Study.

    PubMed

    Faber, Irene R; Elferink-Gemser, Marije T; Faber, Niels R; Oosterveld, Frits G J; Nijhuis-Van der Sanden, Maria W G

    2016-01-01

    Forecasting future performance in youth table tennis players based on current performance is complex due to, among other things, differences between youth players in growth, development, maturity, context and table tennis experience. Talent development programmes might benefit from an assessment of underlying perceptuo-motor skills for table tennis, which is hypothesized to determine the players' potential concerning the perceptuo-motor domain. The Dutch perceptuo-motor skills assessment intends to measure the perceptuo-motor potential for table tennis in youth players by assessing the underlying skills crucial for developing technical and tactical qualities. Untrained perceptuo-motor tasks are used as these are suggested to represent a player's future potential better than specific sport skills themselves as the latter depend on exposure to the sport itself. This study evaluated the value of the perceptuo-motor skills assessment for a talent developmental programme by evaluating its predictive validity for competition participation and performance in 48 young table tennis players (7-11 years). Players were tested on their perceptuo-motor skills once during a regional talent day, and the subsequent competition results were recorded half-yearly over a period of 2.5 years. Logistic regression analysis showed that test scores did not predict future competition participation (p >0.05). Yet, the Generalized Estimating Equations analysis, including the test items 'aiming at target', 'throwing a ball', and 'eye-hand coordination' in the best fitting model, revealed that the outcomes of the perceptuo-motor skills assessment were significant predictors for future competition results (R2 = 51%). Since the test age influences the perceptuo-motor skills assessment's outcome, another multivariable model was proposed including test age as a covariate (R2 = 53%). This evaluation demonstrates promising prospects for the perceptuo-motor skills assessment to be included in a talent

  8. Neonatal neuropsychology: emerging relations of neonatal sensory-motor responses to white matter integrity.

    PubMed

    Weinstein, Maya; Marom, Ronella; Berger, Irit; Ben Bashat, Dafna; Gross-Tsur, Varda; Ben-Sira, Liat; Artzi, Moran; Uliel, Shimrit; Leitner, Yael; Geva, Ronny

    2014-09-01

    The neonatal period is considered to be essential for neurodevelopment and wellbeing throughout the life span, yet little is known about brain-behavior relationships in the neonatal period. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between neonatal sensory-motor regulation and white-matter (WM) integrity of major fiber tracts in the neonatal period. We hypothesized that WM integrity of sensory-motor systems would predict neurobehavioral maturation during the first month of life. Forty-nine premature neonates underwent magnetic-resonance-imaging at term. Diffusion-tensor-imaging analysis was performed in major WM tracts along with repeated neonatal neurobehavioral evaluations assessing sensory reactivity and motor regulation. Difficulties in one or more behavioral sub-category, mostly in auditory and visual attention, hypotonicity and jitteriness, were documented in 78.3% infants at term. Sixty-six percent of infants experienced difficulties, mostly in auditory attention, head-neck control, hypotonicity and motor asymmetry, at 44 weeks. Attention difficulties were associated with reduced integrity of cerebral and superior cerebellar peduncles; while tonicity was associated with reduced integrity of the corpus-callosum and inferior-posterior tracts. Overall, results showed that early maturing tracts were related with the degree of typicality of sensory reactivity status while late maturing tracts were related with the degree of typicality of tonic regulation. WM integrity and maturation factors explained 40.2% of the variance in neurobehavior at 44 weeks. This study suggests that in preterm neonates, deviant sensory-motor reactivity can be detected very early in development in manners that are related to lower integrity/maturational level of early and late maturing fiber tracts.

  9. Between-subject variability of muscle synergies during a complex motor skill

    PubMed Central

    Frère, Julien; Hug, François

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether subjects who have learned a complex motor skill exhibit similar neuromuscular control strategies. We studied a population of experienced gymnasts during backward giant swings on the high bar. This cyclic movement is interesting because it requires learning, as untrained subjects are unable to perform this task. Nine gymnasts were tested. Both kinematics and electromyographic (EMG) patterns of 12 upper-limb and trunk muscles were recorded. Muscle synergies were extracted by non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), providing two components: muscle synergy vectors and synergy activation coefficients. First, the coefficient of correlation (r) and circular cross-correlation (rmax) were calculated to assess similarities in the mechanical patterns, EMG patterns, and muscle synergies between gymnasts. We performed a further analysis to verify that the muscle synergies (in terms of muscle synergy vectors or synergy activation coefficients) extracted for one gymnast accounted for the EMG patterns of the other gymnasts. Three muscle synergies explained 89.9 ± 2.0% of the variance accounted for (VAF). The coefficients of correlation of the muscle synergy vectors among the participants were 0.83 ± 0.08, 0.86 ± 0.09, and 0.66 ± 0.28 for synergy #1, #2, and #3, respectively. By keeping the muscle synergy vectors constant, we obtained an averaged VAF across all pairwise comparisons of 79 ± 4%. For the synergy activation coefficients, rmax-values were 0.96 ± 0.03, 0.92 ± 0.03, and 0.95 ± 0.03, for synergy #1, #2, and #3, respectively. By keeping the synergy activation coefficients constant, we obtained an averaged VAF across all pairwise comparisons of 72 ± 5%. Although variability was found (especially for synergy #3), the gymnasts exhibited gross similar neuromuscular strategies when performing backward giant swings. This confirms that the muscle synergies are consistent across participants, even during a skilled

  10. A Rehabilitation-Internet-of-Things in the Home to Augment Motor Skills and Exercise Training.

    PubMed

    Dobkin, Bruce H

    2017-03-01

    Although motor learning theory has led to evidence-based practices, few trials have revealed the superiority of one theory-based therapy over another after stroke. Nor have improvements in skills been as clinically robust as one might hope. We review some possible explanations, then potential technology-enabled solutions. Over the Internet, the type, quantity, and quality of practice and exercise in the home and community can be monitored remotely and feedback provided to optimize training frequency, intensity, and progression at home. A theory-driven foundation of synergistic interventions for walking, reaching and grasping, strengthening, and fitness could be provided by a bundle of home-based Rehabilitation Internet-of-Things (RIoT) devices. A RIoT might include wearable, activity-recognition sensors and instrumented rehabilitation devices with radio transmission to a smartphone or tablet to continuously measure repetitions, speed, accuracy, forces, and temporal spatial features of movement. Using telerehabilitation resources, a therapist would interpret the data and provide behavioral training for self-management via goal setting and instruction to increase compliance and long-term carryover. On top of this user-friendly, safe, and conceptually sound foundation to support more opportunity for practice, experimental interventions could be tested or additions and replacements made, perhaps drawing from virtual reality and gaming programs or robots. RIoT devices continuously measure the actual amount of quality practice; improvements and plateaus over time in strength, fitness, and skills; and activity and participation in home and community settings. Investigators may gain more control over some of the confounders of their trials and patients will have access to inexpensive therapies.

  11. Individual Differences in Language Development: Relationship with Motor Skill at 21 Months

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alcock, Katherine J.; Krawczyk, Kirsty

    2010-01-01

    Language development has long been associated with motor development, particularly manual gesture. We examined a variety of motor abilities--manual gesture including symbolic, meaningless and sequential memory, oral motor control, gross and fine motor control--in 129 children aged 21 months. Language abilities were assessed and cognitive and…

  12. Preschool motor skills following physical and occupational therapy services among non-disabled very low birth weight children.

    PubMed

    Watkins, Stephanie; Jonsson-Funk, Michele; Brookhart, M Alan; Rosenberg, Steven A; O'Shea, T Michael; Daniels, Julie

    2014-05-01

    Children born very low birth weight (VLBW) are at an increased risk of delayed development of motor skills. Physical and occupational therapy services may reduce this risk. Among VLBW children, we evaluated whether receipt of physical or occupational therapy services between 9 months and 2 years of age is associated with improved preschool age motor ability. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort we estimated the association between receipt of therapy and the following preschool motor milestones: skipping eight consecutive steps, hopping five times, standing on one leg for 10 seconds, walking backwards six steps on a line, and jumping distance. We used propensity score methods to adjust for differences in baseline characteristics between children who did and did not receive physical or occupational therapy, since children receiving therapy may be at higher risk of impairment. We applied propensity score weights and modeled the estimated effect of therapy on the distance that the child jumped using linear regression. We modeled all other end points using logistic regression. Treated VLBW children were 1.70 times as likely to skip eight steps (RR 1.70, 95 % CI 0.84, 3.44) compared to the untreated group and 30 % more likely to walk six steps backwards (RR 1.30, 95 % CI 0.63, 2.71), although these differences were not statistically significant. We found little effect of therapy on other endpoints. Providing therapy to VLBW children during early childhood may improve select preschool motor skills involving complex motor planning.

  13. Individual differences in white matter anatomy predict dissociable components of reading skill in adults.

    PubMed

    Welcome, Suzanne E; Joanisse, Marc F

    2014-08-01

    We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate relationships between white matter anatomy and different reading subskills in typical-reading adults. A series of analytic approaches revealed that phonological decoding ability is associated with anatomical markers that do not relate to other reading-related cognitive abilities. Thus, individual differences in phonological decoding might relate to connectivity between a network of cortical regions, while skills like sight word reading might rely less strongly on integration across regions. Specifically, manually-drawn ROIs and probabilistic tractography revealed an association between the volume and integrity of white matter underlying primary auditory cortex and nonword reading ability. In a related finding, more extensive cross-hemispheric connections through the isthmus of the corpus callosum predicted better phonological decoding. Atlas-based white matter ROIs demonstrated that relationships with nonword reading were strongest in the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus and uncinate fasciculus that connect occipital and anterior temporal cortex with inferior frontal cortex. In contrast, tract volume underlying the left angular gyrus was related to nonverbal IQ. Finally, connectivity underlying functional ROIs that are differentially active during phonological and semantic processing predicted nonword reading and reading comprehension, respectively. Together, these results provide important insights into how white matter anatomy may relate to both typical reading subskills, and perhaps a roadmap for understanding neural connectivity in individuals with reading impairments.

  14. The effect of stereotype threat on performance of a rhythmic motor skill.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meghan E; Seitchik, Allison E; Brown, Adam J; Sternad, Dagmar; Harkins, Stephen G

    2015-04-01

    Many studies using cognitive tasks have found that stereotype threat, or concern about confirming a negative stereotype about one's group, debilitates performance. The few studies that documented similar effects on sensorimotor performance have used only relatively coarse measures to quantify performance. This study tested the effect of stereotype threat on a rhythmic ball bouncing task, where previous analyses of the task dynamics afforded more detailed quantification of the effect of threat on motor control. In this task, novices hit the ball with positive racket acceleration, indicative of unstable performance. With practice, they learn to stabilize error by changing their ball-racket impact from positive to negative acceleration. Results showed that for novices, stereotype threat potentiated hitting the ball with positive racket acceleration, leading to poorer performance of stigmatized females. However, when the threat manipulation was delivered after having acquired some skill, reflected by negative racket acceleration, the stigmatized females performed better. These findings are consistent with the mere effort account that argues that stereotype threat potentiates the most likely response on the given task. The study also demonstrates the value of identifying the control mechanisms through which stereotype threat has its effects on outcome measures.

  15. Effects of electrical stimulation, exercise training and motor skills training on strength of children with meningomyelocele: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Dagenais, Liese M; Lahay, Erin R; Stueck, Kailey A; White, Erin; Williams, Lindsay; Harris, Susan R

    2009-01-01

    This systematic review provides a critical synthesis of research regarding the effects of electrical stimulation, exercise training, and motor skills training on muscle strength in children with meningomyelocele. Nine databases were searched using terms related to meningomyelocele and physical therapy interventions. Of 298 potentially relevant citations, six met the inclusion criteria. Each was rated using the systematic review guidelines of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Two studies examined changes in quadriceps muscle torque following electrical stimulation, three investigated upper extremity exercise training, and one evaluated quadriceps strength after motor skills training. Although the limited evidence suggests improvements in strength when using these interventions, much of the evidence is of low methodological quality and all studies were published more than 10 years ago. Further research is needed regarding various strength-training interventions for children with meningomyelocele and the relationship between increased strength and improved activity and participation.

  16. Longitudinal development of manual motor ability in autism spectrum disorder from childhood to mid-adulthood relates to adaptive daily living skills.

    PubMed

    Travers, Brittany G; Bigler, Erin D; Duffield, Tyler C; Prigge, Molly D B; Froehlich, Alyson L; Lange, Nicholas; Alexander, Andrew L; Lainhart, Janet E

    2016-04-07

    Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit motor difficulties, but it is unknown whether manual motor skills improve, plateau, or decline in ASD in the transition from childhood into adulthood. Atypical development of manual motor skills could impact the ability to learn and perform daily activities across the life span. This study examined longitudinal grip strength and finger tapping development in individuals with ASD (n = 90) compared to individuals with typical development (n = 56), ages 5 to 40 years old. We further examined manual motor performance as a possible correlate of current and future daily living skills. The group with ASD demonstrated atypical motor development, characterized by similar performance during childhood but increasingly poorer performance from adolescence into adulthood. Grip strength was correlated with current adaptive daily living skills, and Time 1 grip strength predicted daily living skills eight years into the future. These results suggest that individuals with ASD may experience increasingly more pronounced motor difficulties from adolescence into adulthood and that manual motor performance in ASD is related to adaptive daily living skills.

  17. Effects of consistent food presentation on oral-motor skill acquisition in children with severe neurological impairment.

    PubMed

    Pinnington, L; Hegarty, J

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate systematically the effect of presenting food consistently, in a position regarded as optimal, to children with severe neurological impairment who have associated oral-motor dysfunction. We tested the validity of some recommendations often made in the literature regarding good feeding practices. The trial used an ABA within-subjects design and extended over a 9-month period. Sixteen children between 7 and 17 years of age with severe neurological impairment and associated eating difficulties were studied. Six subjects had some speech. The effects of the intervention were compared by detailed analysis of standard feeding assessments carried out and video-recorded under control and experimental conditions. Statistically significant differences in components of oral-motor behavior were found when a consistent method of food presentation was employed and significant improvements, which could not be attributed to maturation alone, were found between assessment periods. There were also significant differences in the degree of oral-motor learning achieved by children who had some speech and those who had none. Newly acquired skills were not always evident at followup, however, nor in control assessments of feeding. We conclude that some children, even those with severe neurological impairment, can acquire mastery over latent or previously undeveloped oral-motor skills when feeding strategies are modified to allow appropriate opportunities for learning to occur.

  18. The Development of an Experimental Sensory-Motor and Movement Skills Test Battery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orpet, Russel E.

    An age-normed test battery was developed for use as a research instrument to assess strengths and weaknesses in the sensory-motor development of elementary school age children. The importance of sensory-motor functions for the child's total development and learning is noted. The experimental sensory-motor test battery consists of 12 subtests, and…

  19. Developing an eBook-Integrated High-Fidelity Mobile App Prototype for Promoting Child Motor Skills and Taxonomically Assessing Children's Emotional Responses Using Face and Sound Topology.

    PubMed

    Brown, William; Liu, Connie; John, Rita Marie; Ford, Phoebe

    2014-01-01

    Developing gross and fine motor skills and expressing complex emotion is critical for child development. We introduce "StorySense", an eBook-integrated mobile app prototype that can sense face and sound topologies and identify movement and expression to promote children's motor skills and emotional developmental. Currently, most interactive eBooks on mobile devices only leverage "low-motor" interaction (i.e. tapping or swiping). Our app senses a greater breath of motion (e.g. clapping, snapping, and face tracking), and dynamically alters the storyline according to physical responses in ways that encourage the performance of predetermined motor skills ideal for a child's gross and fine motor development. In addition, our app can capture changes in facial topology, which can later be mapped using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) for later interpretation of emotion. StorySense expands the human computer interaction vocabulary for mobile devices. Potential clinical applications include child development, physical therapy, and autism.

  20. Peripheral androgen receptors sustain the acrobatics and fine motor skill of elaborate male courtship.

    PubMed

    Fuxjager, Matthew J; Longpre, Kristy M; Chew, Jennifer G; Fusani, Leonida; Schlinger, Barney A

    2013-09-01

    Androgenic hormones regulate many aspects of animal social behavior, including the elaborate display routines on which many species rely for advertisement and competition. One way that this might occur is through peripheral effects of androgens, particularly on skeletal muscles that control complex movements and postures of the body and its limbs. However, the specific contribution of peripheral androgen-muscle interactions to the performance of elaborate behavioral displays in the natural world has never been examined. We study this issue in one of the only natural physiological models of animal acrobatics: the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus). In this tropical bird, males compete with each other and court females by producing firecracker-like wing- snaps and by rapidly dancing among saplings over the forest floor. To test how activation of peripheral androgen receptors (AR) influences this display, we treat reproductively active adult male birds with the peripherally selective antiandrogen bicalutamide (BICAL) and observe the effects of this manipulation on male display performance. We not only validate the peripheral specificity of BICAL in this species, but we also show that BICAL treatment reduces the frequency with which adult male birds perform their acrobatic display maneuvers and disrupts the overall structure and fine-scale patterning of these birds' main complex wing-snap sonation. In addition, this manipulation has no effect on the behavioral metrics associated with male motivation to display. Together, our findings help differentiate the various effects of peripheral and central AR on the performance of a complex sociosexual behavioral phenotype by indicating that peripheral AR can optimize the motor skills necessary for the production of an elaborate animal display.

  1. A study on fine motor skills of Iranian children with attention deficit/hyper activity disorder aged from 6 to 11 years.

    PubMed

    Lavasani, Negar Miri; Stagnitti, Karen

    2011-06-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the fine motor skills of two groups of Iranian children. Of the 55 male Tehranian children aged 6 to 10 years, 29 children were typically developing and 26 were identified as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. All children were assessed using the Raven Intelligence Test and nine fine motor tasks. There were no significant differences between the groups based on intelligence. In eight of the fine motor tasks, there was a significant difference between the groups. These tasks were cutting, placing dots in a grid pattern without direction, threading beads, drawing a line within 1 and 2 minutes, finger movements and Purdue pegboard. Boys who have been identified as ADHD have poorer fine motor skills compared to typically developing boys of the same age. Children aged 6 to 10 years who have been identified as ADHD will require more attention to their fine motor skill performance to enable greater participation in daily living tasks in Tehran such as writing, fine arts and dressing which require fast and quick hand motor skills. There are still limitations in this area; therefore, research in fine motor skills and ADHD children are recommended for future research.

  2. Motor Skills and Free-Living Physical Activity Showed No Association Among Preschoolers in 2012 U.S. National Youth Fitness Survey.

    PubMed

    Loprinzi, Paul D; Frith, Emily

    2017-04-01

    Albeit limited, some emerging work, using convenience-based samples, has demonstrated that greater motor skill development is associated with higher physical activity among preschool-aged children. The purpose of this study was to evaluate this topic using data from the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey that included 329 preschool-aged children (3-5 years). Parents proxy-reported their child's physical activity, with motor skill level assessed from the Test of Gross Motor Development-Second Edition (TGMD2). Motor skill levels (Gross Motor Quotient, locomotor or object control) were not associated with preschool free-living physical activity in any analytic model. Thus, in this large sample of preschoolers, contrary to research with older children, motor skill level was not associated with physical activity. Findings are discussed in terms of study limitations of (a) a reliance on parent report of children's physical activity levels and (b) the possibility that physical activity data within the national survey were too limited in range to show possible associations to motor skill development with higher levels of free-living physical activity in preschoolers.

  3. Investigation of the Association Between Motor Stereotypy Behavior With Fundamental Movement Skills, Adaptive Functioning, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Symptomology in Children With Intellectual Disabilities.

    PubMed

    Powell, Joanne L; Pringle, Lydia; Greig, Matt

    2017-02-01

    Motor stereotypy behaviors are patterned, coordinated, repetitive behaviors that are particularly evident in those with an autistic spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. The extent to which motor stereotypy behavior severity is associated with motor skills and maladaptive behavior, measures of adaptive functioning, along with fundamental movement skills and degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology is assessed in this preliminary report. Twelve participants, aged 7 to 16 years, with a reported motor stereotypy behavior and either mild or severe intellectual disability comprising developmental or global delay took part in the study. Spearman rho correlational analysis showed that severity of motor stereotypy behavior was significantly positively correlated with autistic spectrum disorder symptomology ( P = .008) and maladaptive behavior ( P = .008) but not fundamental movement skills ( P > .05). An increase in fundamental movement skills score was associated with a decrease in autistic spectrum disorder symptomology ( P = .01) and an increase in motor skills ( P = .002). This study provides evidence showing a significant relationship between motor stereotypy behavior severity with degree of autistic spectrum disorder symptomology and maladaptive behavior.

  4. Perceptual-motor skill learning in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Evidence for multiple procedural learning and memory systems.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Rachel; Alexander, Gerianne M; Packard, Mark G; Zhu, Hongtu; Peterson, Bradley S

    2005-01-01

    Procedural learning and memory systems likely comprise several skills that are differentially affected by various illnesses of the central nervous system, suggesting their relative functional independence and reliance on differing neural circuits. Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS) is a movement disorder that involves disturbances in the structure and function of the striatum and related circuitry. Recent studies suggest that patients with GTS are impaired in performance of a probabilistic classification task that putatively involves the acquisition of stimulus-response (S-R)-based habits. Assessing the learning of perceptual-motor skills and probabilistic classification in the same samples of GTS and healthy control subjects may help to determine whether these various forms of procedural (habit) learning rely on the same or differing neuroanatomical substrates and whether those substrates are differentially affected in persons with GTS. Therefore, we assessed perceptual-motor skill learning using the pursuit-rotor and mirror tracing tasks in 50 patients with GTS and 55 control subjects who had previously been compared at learning a task of probabilistic classifications. The GTS subjects did not differ from the control subjects in performance of either the pursuit rotor or mirror-tracing tasks, although they were significantly impaired in the acquisition of a probabilistic classification task. In addition, learning on the perceptual-motor tasks was not correlated with habit learning on the classification task in either the GTS or healthy control subjects. These findings suggest that the differing forms of procedural learning are dissociable both functionally and neuroanatomically. The specific deficits in the probabilistic classification form of habit learning in persons with GTS are likely to be a consequence of disturbances in specific corticostriatal circuits, but not the same circuits that subserve the perceptual-motor form of habit learning.

  5. A randomised controlled trial investigating motor skill training as a function of attentional focus in old age

    PubMed Central

    de Bruin, Eling D; Swanenburg, Jaap; Betschon, Elsbeth; Murer, Kurt

    2009-01-01

    Background Motor learning research has had little impact on clinical applications and rarely extended to research about how older adults learn motor skills. There is consistent evidence that motor skill performance and learning can be enhanced by giving learners instructions that direct their attention. The aim of this study was to test whether elderly individuals that receive an external focus instruction during training of dynamic balance skills would learn in a different manner compared to individuals that received an internal focus instruction. Methods This randomised trial included 26 older persons (81 ± 6 years) that were training functional balance twice a week for the duration of 5 weeks. Learning outcomes were recorded after every training session. Weight shifting score and dynamic balance parameters (Biodex Balance System), components of the Extended Timed-Get-Up-and-Go test, five chair rises, and falls efficacy (FES-I) was assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results Participation for training sessions was 94%. No differences between groups were found following 5 weeks of training for weight shifting score, dynamic balance index and dynamic balance time (p < 0.95, p = 0.16, p < 0.50), implying no learning differences between training groups. Extended Timed-Get-Up-and-Go components Sit-to-stand, p = .036; Gait initiation, p = .039; Slow down, stop, turnaround, and sit down, p = 0.011 and the Fes-I (p = 0.014) showed improvements for the total group, indicating that function improved compared to baseline. Conclusion A 5-week balance training improved weight shifting scores and dynamic balance parameters as well as functional abilities. The observed improvements were independent from the type of attentional focus instructions. The findings provide support for the proposition of different motor learning principles in older adults compared to younger adults. Trial Registration ISRCTN44627088 PMID:19426480

  6. Effects of Maternal Handling Training at Home, on Development of Fine Motor Skills in the Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Randomized Clinical Trial

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johari, Sahar; Rassafiani, Mehdi; Dalvand, Hamid; Ahmadi Kahjoogh, Mina; Daemi, Mostafa

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in children. These children require long-term therapy for achieving better motor function. It seems that treatment and training at home is necessary. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of handling training of mothers at home on fine motor skill development of children…

  7. Marketable job skills for high school students: what we learned from an evaluation of After School Matters.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Kendra P; Hirsch, Barton J

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes findings from an experimental evaluation of After School Matters (ASM), a paid, apprenticeship-based, after-school program in Chicago for high school students. Analysis of quantitative data from a mock job interview revealed that ASM participants did not demonstrate more marketable job skills than youth in the control group. Qualitative data suggested that the nature of interpersonal interactions and the degree of professional orientation in apprenticeships contributed to variation in marketable job skills across apprenticeships. The article considers the perspective of human resource professionals who participated in the evaluation and describes an interviewing skills curriculum developed in response to the evaluation findings.

  8. Motor skill failure or flow-experience? Functional brain asymmetry and brain connectivity in elite and amateur table tennis players.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Sebastian; Brölz, Ellen; Keune, Philipp M; Wesa, Benjamin; Hautzinger, Martin; Birbaumer, Niels; Strehl, Ute

    2015-02-01

    Functional hemispheric asymmetry is assumed to constitute one underlying neurophysiological mechanism of flow-experience and skilled psycho-motor performance in table tennis athletes. We hypothesized that when initiating motor execution during motor imagery, elite table tennis players show higher right- than left-hemispheric temporal activity and stronger right temporal-premotor than left temporal-premotor theta coherence compared to amateurs. We additionally investigated, whether less pronounced left temporal cortical activity is associated with more world rank points and more flow-experience. To this aim, electroencephalographic data were recorded in 14 experts and 15 amateur table tennis players. Subjects watched videos of an opponent serving a ball and were instructed to imagine themselves responding with a specific table tennis stroke. Alpha asymmetry scores were calculated by subtracting left from right hemispheric 8-13 Hz alpha power. 4-7 Hz theta coherence was calculated between temporal (T3/T4) and premotor (Fz) cortex. Experts showed a significantly stronger shift towards lower relative left-temporal brain activity compared to amateurs and a significantly stronger right temporal-premotor coherence than amateurs. The shift towards lower relative left-temporal brain activity in experts was associated with more flow-experience and lower relative left temporal activity was correlated with more world rank points. The present findings suggest that skilled psycho-motor performance in elite table tennis players reflect less desynchronized brain activity at the left hemisphere and more coherent brain activity between fronto-temporal and premotor oscillations at the right hemisphere. This pattern probably reflect less interference of irrelevant communication of verbal-analytical with motor-control mechanisms which implies flow-experience and predict world rank in experts.

  9. The Development of Fundamental Motor Skills of Four- to Five-Year-Old Preschool Children and the Effects of a Preschool Physical Education Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iivonen, S.; Saakslahti, A.; Nissinen, K.

    2011-01-01

    Altogether 38 girls and 46 boys aged four to five years were studied to analyse the linear and non-linear development of fundamental motor skills. The children were grouped into one experimental and one control group to study the effects of an eight-month preschool physical education curriculum. In the course of one year, the balance skills of the…

  10. Perceived sports competence mediates the relationship between childhood motor skill proficiency and adolescent physical activity and fitness: a longitudinal assessment

    PubMed Central

    Barnett, Lisa M; Morgan, Philip J; van Beurden, Eric; Beard, John R

    2008-01-01

    Background The purpose of this paper was to investigate whether perceived sports competence mediates the relationship between childhood motor skill proficiency and subsequent adolescent physical activity and fitness. Methods In 2000, children's motor skill proficiency was assessed as part of a school-based physical activity intervention. In 2006/07, participants were followed up as part of the Physical Activity and Skills Study and completed assessments for perceived sports competence (Physical Self-Perception Profile), physical activity (Adolescent Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire) and cardiorespiratory fitness (Multistage Fitness Test). Structural equation modelling techniques were used to determine whether perceived sports competence mediated between childhood object control skill proficiency (composite score of kick, catch and overhand throw), and subsequent adolescent self-reported time in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness. Results Of 928 original intervention participants, 481 were located in 28 schools and 276 (57%) were assessed with at least one follow-up measure. Slightly more than half were female (52.4%) with a mean age of 16.4 years (range 14.2 to 18.3 yrs). Relevant assessments were completed by 250 (90.6%) students for the Physical Activity Model and 227 (82.3%) for the Fitness Model. Both hypothesised mediation models had a good fit to the observed data, with the Physical Activity Model accounting for 18% (R2 = 0.18) of physical activity variance and the Fitness Model accounting for 30% (R2 = 0.30) of fitness variance. Sex did not act as a moderator in either model. Conclusion Developing a high perceived sports competence through object control skill development in childhood is important for both boys and girls in determining adolescent physical activity participation and fitness. Our findings highlight the need for interventions to target and improve the perceived sports competence of youth. PMID:18687148

  11. On discontinuities in motor learning: a longitudinal study of complex skill acquisition on a ski-simulator.

    PubMed

    Nourrit, Déborah; Delignières, Didier; Caillou, Nicolas; Deschamps, Thibault; Lauriot, Brice

    2003-06-01

    The qualitative behavioral reorganizations that occurred during the acquisition of a complex motor skill were examined. Five novice participants practiced for 39 sessions of ten 1-min trials on a modified version of the ski-simulator. Analyses focused on the motion of the apparatus platform, modeled as a self-sustained oscillator. At the beginning of the experiment, all participants adopted a behavior that could be modeled with a highly nonlinear stiffness function and a Rayleigh damping function. The behavior in the final part of the experiment was captured by a qualitatively different model, with a linear stiffness function and a van der Pol damping behavior. The transition from the initial to the final model was gradual and was marked in most cases by an abrupt increase of oscillation frequency. During the transition stage, the 2 damping behaviors seemed alternately exploited within each trial. The results are discussed in the framework of the dynamical systems approach to motor coordination and learning, considering motor skill acquisition as a phase transition.

  12. Fine motor skills and effects of methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder and developmental coordination disorder.

    PubMed

    Flapper, Boudien Ct; Houwen, Suzanne; Schoemaker, Marina M

    2006-03-01

    The aims of this study were to investigate fine motor skills of children with both attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those of a control group, and to examine the effects of methylphenidate on these skills. A group of 12 children with ADHD-DCD (11 males, one female; mean age 9y 8mo [SD 1y 7mo]) and 12 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age 9y 7mo [SD 1y 2 mo]) participated. The manual dexterity subtests of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, the concise assessment method for children's handwriting, and a computerized graphomotor task were used. Results demonstrated that children with ADHD-DCD performed more poorly on the manual dexterity subtests, had poorer quality of handwriting, and drew more rapidly, more fluently, but less accurately than controls on the graphomotor task. On methylphenidate, manual dexterity and quality of handwriting improved, and strokes on the graphomotor task became less fluent but more accurate. ADHD is characterized by persistent symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, affecting 3 to 5% of school-age children. Up to 50% of children with ADHD also have motor coordination problems that are severe enough to meet criteria for DCD. In DCD, children demonstrate functional motor performance deficits not explained by the child's (chronological) age or intellect, or by other neurological or psychiatric disorders.

  13. Early onset of forced impaired forelimb use causes recovery of forelimb skilled motor function but no effect on gross sensory-motor function after capsular hemorrhage in rats.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Akimasa; Tamakoshi, Keigo; Hamakawa, Michiru; Shimada, Haruka; Nakashima, Hiroki; Masuda, Tadashi; Hida, Hideki; Ishida, Kazuto

    2011-11-20

    Intensive use of the impaired forelimb promotes behavioral recovery and induces plastic changes of the central nervous system after stroke. However, the optimal onset of intensive use treatment after stroke is controversial. In this study, we investigated whether early forced impaired limb use (FLU) initiated 24h after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) of the internal capsule affected behavioral recovery and histological damage. Rats were subjected to ICH via low-dose collagenase infusion or sham stroke. One day after surgery, the ipsilateral forelimbs of half of the ICH and sham rats were casted for a week to induce the use of their contralateral forelimbs. Behavioral assessments were performed on days 10-12 and 26-28 after the surgery and followed by histological assessments. Improvements in skilled reaching and coordinated stepping function were found in the FLU-treated group in comparison with the untreated group after ICH. Additionally, FLU-treated ICH animals showed more normal and precise reaching and stepping movements as compared with ICH control animals. In contrast, FLU did not have a significant impact on gross sensory-motor functions such as the motor deficit score, contact placing response and spontaneous usage of the impaired paw. The volume of tissue lost and the number of spared corticospinal neurons in lesioned motor cortex were not affected by early FLU after ICH. These findings demonstrate the efficacy of early focused use of an impaired limb after internal capsule hemorrhage.

  14. Marketable Job Skills for High School Students: What We Learned from an Evaluation of after School Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexander, Kendra P.; Hirsch, Barton J.

    2012-01-01

    This article summarizes findings from an experimental evaluation of After School Matters (ASM), a paid, apprenticeship-based, after-school program in Chicago for high school students. Analysis of quantitative data from a mock job interview revealed that ASM participants did not demonstrate more marketable job skills than youth in the control…

  15. Creative Paradoxical Thinking and Its Implications for Teaching and Learning Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, David

    2011-01-01

    A paradox is a statement or situation that involves two or more contradictory, mutually exclusive elements that operate at the same time. This article examines a number of findings in motor-learning and motor-control research and categorizes them into six paradoxes. Based on those research findings, the concept of creative paradoxical thinking is…

  16. Noise, Variability, and the Development of Children's Perceptual-Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deutsch, K.M.; Newell, K.M.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper we examine two long-standing assumptions of the information processing perspective of perceptual-motor development, namely that: (1) the amount of noise in children's sensori-motor system decreases with increases in age up to adulthood; and (2) this age-related reduction in noise level leads to associated improvements in the accuracy…

  17. A Model of Motor Inhibition for a Complex Skill: Baseball Batting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gray, Rob

    2009-01-01

    The ability to inhibit an ongoing action in response to a signal from the environment is important for many perceptual-motor actions. This paper examines a particular example of this behavior: attempting to inhibit or "check" a swing in baseball batting. A model of motor inhibition in batting is proposed. In the model there are three different…

  18. Motor and Tactile-Perceptual Skill Differences Between Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Typically Developing Individuals Ages 5 – 21

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Dahab, Sana M. N.; Holm, Margo B.; Rogers, Joan C.; Skidmore, Elizabeth; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2012-01-01

    We examined motor and tactile-perceptual skills in individuals with high-functioning autism (IHFA) and matched typically developing individuals (TDI) ages 5 – 21 years. Grip strength, motor speed and coordination were impaired in IHFA compared to matched TDI, and the differences between groups varied with age. Although tactile-perceptual skills of IHFA were impaired compared to TDI on several measures, impairments were statistically and clinically significant only for stereognosis. Motor and tactile-perceptual skills should be assessed in children with IHFA and intervention should begin early because these skills are essential to school performance. Impairments in coordination and stereognosis suggest a broad though selective under-development of the circuitry for higher order abilities regardless of domain that is important in the search for the underlying disturbances in neurological development. PMID:22318760

  19. Writing to dictation and handwriting performance among Chinese children with dyslexia: relationships with orthographic knowledge and perceptual-motor skills.

    PubMed

    Cheng-Lai, Alice; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W P; Chan, Alan H L; Lo, Amy G W

    2013-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between writing to dictation, handwriting, orthographic, and perceptual-motor skills among Chinese children with dyslexia. A cross-sectional design was used. A total of 45 third graders with dyslexia were assessed. Results of stepwise multiple regression models showed that Chinese character naming was the only predictor associated with word dictation (β=.32); handwriting speed was related to deficits in rapid automatic naming (β=-.36) and saccadic efficiency (β=-.29), and visual-motor integration predicted both of the number of characters exceeded grid (β=-.41) and variability of character size (β=-.38). The findings provided support to a multi-stage working memory model of writing for explaining the possible underlying mechanism of writing to dictation and handwriting difficulties.

  20. Can Perceptuo-Motor Skills Assessment Outcomes in Young Table Tennis Players (7–11 years) Predict Future Competition Participation and Performance? An Observational Prospective Study

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Forecasting future performance in youth table tennis players based on current performance is complex due to, among other things, differences between youth players in growth, development, maturity, context and table tennis experience. Talent development programmes might benefit from an assessment of underlying perceptuo-motor skills for table tennis, which is hypothesized to determine the players’ potential concerning the perceptuo-motor domain. The Dutch perceptuo-motor skills assessment intends to measure the perceptuo-motor potential for table tennis in youth players by assessing the underlying skills crucial for developing technical and tactical qualities. Untrained perceptuo-motor tasks are used as these are suggested to represent a player’s future potential better than specific sport skills themselves as the latter depend on exposure to the sport itself. This study evaluated the value of the perceptuo-motor skills assessment for a talent developmental programme by evaluating its predictive validity for competition participation and performance in 48 young table tennis players (7–11 years). Players were tested on their perceptuo-motor skills once during a regional talent day, and the subsequent competition results were recorded half-yearly over a period of 2.5 years. Logistic regression analysis showed that test scores did not predict future competition participation (p >0.05). Yet, the Generalized Estimating Equations analysis, including the test items ‘aiming at target’, ‘throwing a ball’, and ‘eye-hand coordination’ in the best fitting model, revealed that the outcomes of the perceptuo-motor skills assessment were significant predictors for future competition results (R2 = 51%). Since the test age influences the perceptuo-motor skills assessment’s outcome, another multivariable model was proposed including test age as a covariate (R2 = 53%). This evaluation demonstrates promising prospects for the perceptuo-motor skills assessment to be

  1. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects forelimb motor map expression but has little effect on skilled and unskilled behavior.

    PubMed

    Scullion, K; Guy, A R; Singleton, A; Spanswick, S C; Hill, M N; Teskey, G C

    2016-04-05

    It has previously been shown in rats that acute administration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exerts a dose-dependent effect on simple locomotor activity, with low doses of THC causing hyper-locomotion and high doses causing hypo-locomotion. However the effect of acute THC administration on cortical movement representations (motor maps) and skilled learned movements is completely unknown. It is important to determine the effects of THC on motor maps and skilled learned behaviors because behaviors like driving place people at a heightened risk. Three doses of THC were used in the current study: 0.2mg/kg, 1.0mg/kg and 2.5mg/kg representing the approximate range of the low to high levels of available THC one would consume from recreational use of cannabis. Acute peripheral administration of THC to drug naïve rats resulted in dose-dependent alterations in motor map expression using high resolution short duration intracortical microstimulation (SD-ICMS). THC at 0.2mg/kg decreased movement thresholds and increased motor map size, while 1.0mg/kg had the opposite effect, and 2.5mg/kg had an even more dramatic effect. Deriving complex movement maps using long duration (LD)-ICMS at 1.0mg/kg resulted in fewer complex movements. Dosages of 1.0mg/kg and 2.5mg/kg THC reduced the number of reach attempts but did not affect percentage of success or the kinetics of reaching on the single pellet skilled reaching task. Rats that received 2.5mg/kg THC did show an increase in latency of forelimb removal on the bar task, while dose-dependent effects of THC on unskilled locomotor activity using the rotorod and horizontal ladder tasks were not observed. Rats may be employing compensatory strategies after receiving THC, which may account for the robust changes in motor map expression but moderate effects on behavior.

  2. Scaling Tennis Racquets during PE in Primary School to Enhance Motor Skill Acquisition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buszard, Tim; Reid, Machar; Masters, Rich S. W.; Farrow, Damian

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Research supporting the skill acquisition benefits of scaling sports equipment for children in a real-world setting where child-to-coach ratios are high is scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the influence of scaling the tennis racquet on children's skill acquisition in a primary school setting. Method: Children aged 6 to 7…

  3. A Method for Extracting Sensory Motor Skills and Designing a Training System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doyo, Daisuke; Ohara, Atushi; Shida, Keisuke; Matsumoto, Toshiyuki; Otomo, Kazuo

    2009-01-01

    Two years ago, the rapid retirement of the "baby boomer artisans" in vast numbers threatened to erode the competitiveness of Japanese manufacturers (i.e., the 2007 problem). This study proposes a practical process for extracting skills and designing a training system, to accelerate the learning of skills in production fields by younger…

  4. Rhetorical meta-language to promote the development of students' writing skills and subject matter understanding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelger, Susanne; Sigrell, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Background: Feedback is one of the most significant factors for students' development of writing skills. For feedback to be successful, however, students and teachers need a common language - a meta-language - for discussing texts. Not least because in science education such a meta-language might contribute to improve writing training and feedback-giving. Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore students' perception of teachers' feedback given on their texts in two genres, and to suggest how writing training and feedback-giving could become more efficient. Sample: In this study were included 44 degree project students in biology and molecular biology, and 21 supervising teachers at a Swedish university. Design and methods: The study concerned students' writing about their degree projects in two genres: scientific writing and popular science writing. The data consisted of documented teacher feedback on the students' popular science texts. It also included students' and teachers' answers to questionnaires about writing and feedback. All data were collected during the spring of 2012. Teachers' feedback, actual and recalled - by students and teachers, respectively - was analysed and compared using the so-called Canons of rhetoric. Results: While the teachers recalled the given feedback as mainly positive, most students recalled only negative feedback. According to the teachers, suggested improvements concerned firstly the content, and secondly the structure of the text. In contrast, the students mentioned language style first, followed by content. Conclusions: The disagreement between students and teachers regarding how and what feedback was given on the students texts confirm the need of improved strategies for writing training and feedback-giving in science education. We suggest that the rhetorical meta-language might play a crucial role in overcoming the difficulties observed in this study. We also discuss how training of writing skills may contribute to

  5. Contribution of the basal ganglia to spoken language: is speech production like the other motor skills?

    PubMed

    Zenon, Alexandre; Olivier, Etienne

    2014-12-01

    Two of the roles assigned to the basal ganglia in spoken language parallel very well their contribution to motor behaviour: (1) their role in sequence processing, resulting in syntax deficits, and (2) their role in movement "vigor," leading to "hypokinetic dysarthria" or "hypophonia." This is an additional example of how the motor system has served the emergence of high-level cognitive functions, such as language.

  6. 78 FR 21850 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Matters Incorporated by Reference

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-12

    ... National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 RIN 2127-AL25 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety... references to the many standards and practices that are incorporated by reference into the Federal motor... motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs) in 49 CFR Part 571 (Part 571).\\1\\ Although this part...

  7. Gender Differences in Motor Skill Proficiency from Childhood to Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnett, Lisa M.; van Beurden, Eric; Morgan, Philip J.; Brooks, Lyndon O.; Beard, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Students' proficiency in three object control and three locomotor skills were assessed in 2000 (M age = 10.06 years, SD = 0.63) in New South Wales, Australia and in 2006-07 (M age = 16.44 years, SD = 0.64). In 2006-07, 266 students, 138 girls (51.9%) and 128 boys (48.1%), had at least one skill reassessed. Boys were more object control proficient…

  8. Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Particulate Matter Emission Factor Model for European Motor Vehicles.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rakesh B; Colls, Jeremy J

    2000-10-01

    Although modeling of gaseous emissions from motor vehicles is now quite advanced, prediction of particulate emissions is still at an unsophisticated stage. Emission factors for gasoline vehicles are not reliably available, since gasoline vehicles are not included in the European Union (EU) emission test procedure. Regarding diesel vehicles, emission factors are available for different driving cycles but give little information about change of emissions with speed or engine load. We have developed size-specific speed-dependent emission factors for gasoline and diesel vehicles. Other vehicle-generated emission factors are also considered and the empirical equation for re-entrained road dust is modified to include humidity effects. A methodology is proposed to calculate modal (accelerating, cruising, or idling) emission factors. The emission factors cover particle size ranges up to 10 um, either from published data or from user-defined size distributions. A particulate matter emission factor model (PMFAC), which incorporates virtually all the available information on particulate emissions for European motor vehicles, has been developed. PMFAC calculates the emission factors for five particle size ranges [i.e., total suspended particulates (TSP), PM10, PM5, PM25, and PM1] from both vehicle exhaust and nonexhaust emissions, such as tire wear, brake wear, and re-entrained road dust. The model can be used for an unlimited number of roads and lanes, and to calculate emission factors near an intersection in user-defined elements of the lane. PMFAC can be used for a variety of fleet structures. Hot emission factors at the user-defined speed can be calculated for individual vehicles, along with relative cold-to-hot emission factors. The model accounts for the proportions of distance driven with cold engines as a function of ambient temperature and road type (i.e., urban, rural, or motorway). A preliminary evaluation of PMFAC with an available dispersion model to predict the

  9. Development and preliminary evaluation of a particulate matter emission factor model for European motor vehicles.

    PubMed

    Singh, R B; Colls, J J

    2000-10-01

    Although modeling of gaseous emissions from motor vehicles is now quite advanced, prediction of particulate emissions is still at an unsophisticated stage. Emission factors for gasoline vehicles are not reliably available, since gasoline vehicles are not included in the European Union (EU) emission test procedure. Regarding diesel vehicles, emission factors are available for different driving cycles but give little information about change of emissions with speed or engine load. We have developed size-specific speed-dependent emission factors for gasoline and diesel vehicles. Other vehicle-generated emission factors are also considered and the empirical equation for re-entrained road dust is modified to include humidity effects. A methodology is proposed to calculate modal (accelerating, cruising, or idling) emission factors. The emission factors cover particle size ranges up to 10 microns, either from published data or from user-defined size distributions. A particulate matter emission factor model (PMFAC), which incorporates virtually all the available information on particulate emissions for European motor vehicles, has been developed. PMFAC calculates the emission factors for five particle size ranges [i.e., total suspended particulates (TSP), PM10, PM5, PM2.5, and PM1] from both vehicle exhaust and nonexhaust emissions, such as tire wear, brake wear, and re-entrained road dust. The model can be used for an unlimited number of roads and lanes, and to calculate emission factors near an intersection in user-defined elements of the lane. PMFAC can be used for a variety of fleet structures. Hot emission factors at the user-defined speed can be calculated for individual vehicles, along with relative cold-to-hot emission factors. The model accounts for the proportions of distance driven with cold engines as a function of ambient temperature and road type (i.e., urban, rural, or motorway). A preliminary evaluation of PMFAC with an available dispersion model to predict

  10. Mapping the dynamics of cortical neuroplasticity of skilled motor learning using micro X-ray fluorescence and histofluorescence imaging of zinc in the rat.

    PubMed

    Alaverdashvili, Mariam; Paterson, Phyllis G

    2017-02-01

    Synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence imaging (XFI) of zinc (Zn) has been recently implemented to understand the efficiency of various therapeutic interventions targeting post-stroke neuroprotection and neuroplasticity. However, it is uncertain if micro XFI can resolve neuroplasticity-induced changes. Thus, we explored if learning-associated behavioral changes would be accompanied by changes in cortical Zn concentration measured by XFI in healthy adult rats. Proficiency in a skilled reach-to-eat task during early and late stages of motor learning served as a functional measure of neuroplasticity. c-Fos protein and vesicular Zn expression were employed as indirect neuronal measures of brain plasticity. A total Zn map (20×20×30μm(3) resolution) generated by micro XFI failed to reflect increases in either c-Fos or vesicular Zn in the motor cortex contralateral to the trained forelimb or improved proficiency in the skilled reaching task. Remarkably, vesicular Zn increased in the late stage of motor learning along with a concurrent decrease in the number of c-fos-ip neurons relative to the early stage of motor learning. This inverse dynamics of c-fos and vesicular Zn level as the motor skill advances suggest that a qualitatively different neural population, comprised of fewer active but more efficiently connected neurons, supports a skilled action in the late versus early stage of motor learning. The lack of sensitivity of the XFI-generated Zn map to visualize the plasticity-associated changes in vesicular Zn suggests that the Zn level measured by micro XFI should not be used as a surrogate marker of neuroplasticity in response to the acquisition of skilled motor actions. Nanoscopic XFI could be explored in future as a means of imaging these subtle physiological changes.

  11. Relationship between Motor Skill Impairment and Severity in Children with Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilton, Claudia; Wente, Lyndsay; LaVesser, Patricia; Ito, Max; Reed, Carol; Herzberg, Georgiana

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the correlation between severity and motor impairment in children with Asperger syndrome (AS). Children, ages 6-12 with AS (N = 51) and a control group of typical children (N = 56), were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Movement Assessment Battery For Children (MABC). A bivariate correlational design…

  12. The Relationship between Motor Skill Proficiency and Body Mass Index in Preschool Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Logan, Samuel W.; Scrabis-Fletcher, Kristin; Modlesky, Christopher; Getchell, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and body mass index (BMI) in preschool children. Thirty-eight children ages 4-6 years had their BMI calculated and were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2; Henderson, Sugden, & Barnett, 2007). These data were analyzed in two…

  13. The Effects of Coordination and Movement Education on Pre School Children's Basic Motor Skills Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altinkök, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    This research was conducted for the purpose of analyzing the effect of the movement education program through a 12-week-coordination on the development of basic motor movements of pre-school children. A total of 78 students of pre-school period, 38 of whom were in the experimental group and 40 of whom were in the control group, were incorporated…

  14. Perceived Difficulty of a Motor-Skill Task as a Function of Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bratfisch, Oswald; And Others

    A simple device called a "wire labyrinth" was used in an experiment involving learning of a two-hand motor task. The Ss were asked, after completing each of 7 successive trails, to give their estimates of perceived (subjective) difficulty of the task. For this purpose, the psychophysical method of magnitude estimation was used. Time was…

  15. Educational Gymnastics: The Effectiveness of Montessori Practical Life Activities in Developing Fine Motor Skills in Kindergartners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhatia, Punum; Davis, Alan; Shamas-Brandt, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Research Findings: A quasi-experiment was undertaken to test the effect of Montessori practical life activities on kindergarten children's fine motor development and hand dominance over an 8-month period. Participants were 50 children age 5 in 4 Montessori schools and 50 students age 5 in a kindergarten program in a high-performing suburban…

  16. Self-Controlled Amount of Practice Benefits Learning of a Motor Skill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Post, Phillip G.; Fairbrother, Jeffrey T.; Barros, Joao A. C.

    2011-01-01

    Self-control over factors involving task-related information (e.g., feedback) can enhance motor learning. It is unknown if these benefits extend to manipulations that do not directly affect such information. The purpose of this study was to determine if self-control over the amount of practice would also facilitate learning. Participants learned…

  17. Error-related negativity in the skilled brain of pianists reveals motor simulation.

    PubMed

    Proverbio, Alice Mado; Cozzi, Matteo; Orlandi, Andrea; Carminati, Manuel

    2017-03-27

    Evidences have been provided of a crucial role of multimodal audio-visuomotor processing in subserving the musical ability. In this paper we investigated whether musical audiovisual stimulation might trigger the activation of motor information in the brain of professional pianists, due to the presence of permanent gestures/sound associations. At this aim EEG was recorded in 24 pianists and naive participants engaged in the detection of rare targets while watching hundreds of video clips showing a pair of hands in the act of playing, along with a compatible or incompatible piano soundtrack. Hands size and apparent distance allowed self-ownership and agency illusions, and therefore motor simulation. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and relative source reconstruction showed the presence of an Error-related negativity (ERN) to incongruent trials at anterior frontal scalp sites, only in pianists, with no difference in naïve participants. ERN was mostly explained by an anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) source. Other sources included "hands" IT regions, the superior temporal gyrus (STG) involved in conjoined auditory and visuomotor processing, SMA and cerebellum (representing and controlling motor subroutines), and regions involved in body parts representation (somatosensory cortex, uncus, cuneus and precuneus). The findings demonstrate that instrument-specific audiovisual stimulation is able to trigger error shooting and correction neural responses via motor resonance and mirroring, being a possible aid in learning and rehabilitation.

  18. Motor Skill Acquisition and Retention after Somatosensory Electrical Stimulation in Healthy Humans.

    PubMed

    Veldman, Menno P; Zijdewind, Inge; Maffiuletti, Nicola A; Hortobágyi, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) can increase motor performance, presumably through a modulation of neuronal excitability. Because the effects of SES can outlast the period of stimulation, we examined the possibility that SES can also enhance the retention of motor performance, motor memory consolidation, after 24 h (Day 2) and 7 days (Day 7), that such effects would be scaled by SES duration, and that such effects were mediated by changes in aspects of corticospinal excitability, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF). Healthy young adults (n = 40) received either 20 (SES-20), 40 (SES-40), or 60 min (SES-60) of real SES, or sham SES (SES-0). The results showed SES-20 increased visuomotor performance on Day 2 (15%) and Day 7 (17%) and SES-60 increased visuomotor performance on Day 7 (11%; all p < 0.05) compared with SES-0. Specific responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) increased immediately after SES (p < 0.05) but not on Days 2 and 7. In addition, changes in behavioral and neurophysiological parameters did not correlate, suggesting that paths and structures other than the ones TMS can assay must be (also) involved in the increases in visuomotor performance after SES. As examined in the present study, low-intensity peripheral electrical nerve stimulation did not have acute effects on healthy adults' visuomotor performance but SES had delayed effects in the form of enhanced motor memory consolidation that were not scaled by the duration of SES.

  19. Gesture and Motor Skill in Relation to Language in Children with Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iverson, Jana M.; Braddock, Barbara A.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To examine gesture and motor abilities in relation to language in children with language impairment (LI). Method: Eleven children with LI (aged 2;7 to 6;1 [years;months]) and 16 typically developing (TD) children of similar chronological ages completed 2 picture narration tasks, and their language (rate of verbal utterances, mean length…

  20. White Matter Fractional Anisotropy Correlates With Speed of Processing and Motor Speed in Young Childhood Cancer Survivors

    SciTech Connect

    Aukema, Eline J.; Oudhuis, Nienke; Vos, Frans M.; Reneman, Liesbeth; Last, Bob F.; Grootenhuis, Martha A.

    2009-07-01

    Purpose: To determine whether childhood medulloblastoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) survivors have decreased white matter fractional anisotropy (WMFA) and whether WMFA is related to the speed of processing and motor speed. Methods and Materials: For this study, 17 patients (6 medulloblastoma, 5 ALL treated with high-dose methotrexate (MTX) (4 x 5 g/m{sup 2}) and 6 with low-dose MTX (3 x 2 g/m{sup 2})) and 17 age-matched controls participated. On a 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was performed, and WMFA values were calculated, including specific regions of interest (ROIs), and correlated with the speed of processing and motor speed. Results: Mean WMFA in the patient group, mean age 14 years (range 8.9 - 16.9), was decreased compared with the control group (p = 0.01), as well as WMFA in the right inferior fronto-occipital fasciliculus (IFO) (p = 0.03) and in the genu of the corpus callosum (gCC) (p = 0.01). Based on neurocognitive results, significant positive correlations were present between processing speed and WMFA in the splenium (sCC) (r = 0.53, p = 0.03) and the body of the corpus callosum (bCC) (r = 0.52, p = 0.03), whereas the right IFO WMFA was related to motor speed (r = 0.49, p < 0.05). Conclusions: White matter tracts, using a 3.0-T MRI scanner, show impairment in childhood cancer survivors, medulloblastoma survivors, and also those treated with high doses of MTX. In particular, white matter tracts in the sCC, bCC and right IFO are positively correlated with speed of processing and motor speed.

  1. Development of Body Composition, Hormone Profile, Physical Fitness, General Perceptual Motor Skills, Soccer Skills and On-The-Ball Performance in Soccer-Specific Laboratory Test Among Adolescent Soccer Players

    PubMed Central

    Vänttinen, Tomi; Blomqvist, Minna; Häkkinen, Keijo

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the development of on-the-ball skills in soccer-specific laboratory test and to examine how traditional measures of body composition, hormone profile, physical fitness, general perceptual motor skills and soccer skills were related to performance measured in open skill environment among 10, 12, and 14-year-old regional male soccer players (n = 12/group). The measured variables were height, weight, fat, muscle mass, testosterone, 10m sprint, agility, counter movement jump, peripheral awareness, Eye- Hand-Foot coordination, passing skill, dribbling skill and on-the-ball skills (performance time and passing accuracy) in soccer-specific laboratory test. A significant main effect by age was found in all measured variables except in fat, in peripheral awareness and in passing accuracy. In discriminant analysis 63.9% (λ = 0.603, F = 4.600, p < 0.01) of the players were classified correctly based on physical fitness and general perceptual motor skills into three ability groups originally classified with performance time in soccer-specific laboratory test. Correlation co- efficient analysis with-in age groups revealed that variables associated with performance time in soccer-specific laboratory test were peripheral awareness (r = 0.72, p < 0.01) in 10-year-olds; testosterone (r = -0.70, p < 0.05), dribbling skill (r = 0.73, p < 0.01) and passing skill (r = 0.73, p < 0.01) in 12-year-olds; agility (r = 0.79, p < 0.01), counter movement jump (r = - 0.62, p < 0.01), dribbling skill (r = 0.80, p < 0.01) and passing skill (r = 0.58, p < 0. 05) in 14-year olds. Corresponding relationships with passing accuracy were weight (r = 0.59, p < 0.05), fat (r = 0.66, p < 0.05), 10m sprint (r = 0.71, p < 0.01) and countermovement jump (r = -0.64, p < 0.05) in 10-year-olds; Eye-Hand-Foot coordination (r = 0.63, p < 0.05) in 14-year- olds. The relationship between soccer-specific anticipation time and performance time in soccer- specific

  2. Domain Expertise and the Effectiveness of Dynamic Simulator Interfaces in the Acquisition of Procedural Motor Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akinlofa, Olurotimi R.; Holt, Patrik O'Brian; Elyan, Eyad

    2013-01-01

    Previous research into the effectiveness of dynamic versus static instructional design paradigms has reported divergent findings. Dynamic instructions have been shown to be more effective in teaching novel procedural skills. In contrast, the apparent benefit of dynamic over static instructions has been attributed in other studies to the cognitive…

  3. Fine Motor Skills and Early Comprehension of the World: Two New School Readiness Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grissmer, David; Grimm, Kevin J.; Aiyer, Sophie M.; Murrah, William M.; Steele, Joel S.

    2010-01-01

    Duncan et al. (2007) presented a new methodology for identifying kindergarten readiness factors and quantifying their importance by determining which of children's developing skills measured around kindergarten entrance would predict later reading and math achievement. This article extends Duncan et al.'s work to identify kindergarten readiness…

  4. A Training Program for Selected Self-Feeding Skills for the Motorically Impaired.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banerdt, Barbara; Bricker, Diane

    1978-01-01

    The effects of proper positioning and prosthetic equipment on the acquisition of selected self-feeding skills were studied in a young cerebral palsy child, with an eye toward developing evaluation strategies and procedures that could be easily employed by a teacher or parent in a classroom or home setting. (Author/DLS)

  5. Contribution of Organized and Nonorganized Activity to Children's Motor Skills and Fitness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardy, Louise L.; O'Hara, Blythe J.; Rogers, Kris; St George, Alexis; Bauman, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    Background: To examine the associations between children's organized physical activity (OPA), nonorganized physical activity (NOPA), and health-related outcomes (fundamental movement skill [FMS] fitness). Methods: Cross-sectional survey of children aged 10-16?years (N?=?4273). Organized physical activity and NOPA were assessed by self-report,…

  6. Challenges to Cognitive Bases for an Especial Motor Skill at the Regulation Baseball Pitching Distance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simons, Jeffery P.; Wilson, Jacob M.; Wilson, Gabriel J.; Theall, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    We tested expert baseball pitchers for evidence of especial skills at the regulation pitching distance. Seven college pitchers threw indoors to a target placed at 60.5 feet (18.44 m) and four closer and four further distances away. Accuracy at the regulation distance was significantly better than predicted by regression on the nonregulation…

  7. Blind Evaluation of Body Reflexes and Motor Skills in Learning Disability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freides, David; And Others

    1980-01-01

    Twelve 6 to 10 year old boys with learning disability were blindly compared with paired controls on measures of postural and equilibrium reflexes as well as skills. Learning disabled children as a group showed significant deficits on all measures; a few, however, were totally without deficit. (Author/SBH)

  8. The relationship between motor skill proficiency and body mass index in preschool children.

    PubMed

    Logan, Samuel W; Scrabis-Fletcher, Kristin; Modlesky, Christopher; Getchell, Nancy

    2011-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between motor proficiency and body mass index (B/MI) in preschool children. Thirty-eight children ages 4-6 years had their BMI calculated and were assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2; Henderson, Sugden, & Barnett, 2007). These data were analyzed in two ways. The correlation between BMI and MABC-2 percentile ranks was calculated. Next, the groups were subdivided based on BMI status (high, M = 85.5; medium, M = 49.8; low, M = 10.8), and compared using t tests to determine if differences existed in MABC-2 percentile ranks. No significant relationship existed between MABC-2 and BMI percentile ranks (r = -.237). However significant differences in MABC-2 percentile ranks existed between high and low (p = .042), and high and medium (p = .043) groups. These results suggest that preschool children classified as overweight or obese may have lower motor proficiency than their normal weight and under weight peers. This study indicates there is a direct relationship between motor proficiency and BMI in the preschool population.

  9. Electrical stimulation of motor cortex in the uninjured hemisphere after chronic unilateral injury promotes recovery of skilled locomotion through ipsilateral control.

    PubMed

    Carmel, Jason B; Kimura, Hiroki; Martin, John H

    2014-01-08

    Partial injury to the corticospinal tract (CST) causes sprouting of intact axons at their targets, and this sprouting correlates with functional improvement. Electrical stimulation of motor cortex augments sprouting of intact CST axons and promotes functional recovery when applied soon after injury. We hypothesized that electrical stimulation of motor cortex in the intact hemisphere after chronic lesion of the CST in the other hemisphere would restore function through ipsilateral control. To test motor skill, rats were trained and tested to walk on a horizontal ladder with irregularly spaced rungs. Eight weeks after injury, produced by pyramidal tract transection, half of the rats received forelimb motor cortex stimulation of the intact hemisphere. Rats with injury and stimulation had significantly improved forelimb control compared with rats with injury alone and achieved a level of proficiency similar to uninjured rats. To test whether recovery of forelimb function was attributable to ipsilateral control, we selectively inactivated the stimulated motor cortex using the GABA agonist muscimol. The dose of muscimol we used produces strong contralateral but no ipsilateral impairments in naive rats. In rats with injury and stimulation, but not those with injury alone, inactivation caused worsening of forelimb function; the initial deficit was reinstated. These results demonstrate that electrical stimulation can promote recovery of motor function when applied late after injury and that motor control can be exerted from the ipsilateral motor cortex. These results suggest that the uninjured motor cortex could be targeted for brain stimulation in people with large unilateral CST lesions.

  10. Information Processing Capabilities in Performers Differing in Levels of Motor Skill

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-01-01

    period of time would probably activate both open loop and closed loop control from occasion to occasion.. Klapp (1978) reaffirms Glencross’ position...aind human systems, he concludes that "most systems at some level of analysis must be regarded as hybrid systems" ( Klapp , 1978, p. 231). The skilled...simple. Thus, the combinatorial strategy of anticipation, concentration, and motivation operates prior to the onset of the signal (cf. Klapp , 1978

  11. Shared neural resources between left and right interlimb coordination skills: the neural substrate of abstract motor representations.

    PubMed

    Swinnen, S P; Vangheluwe, S; Wagemans, J; Coxon, J P; Goble, D J; Van Impe, A; Sunaert, S; Peeters, R; Wenderoth, N

    2010-02-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to reveal the shared neural resources between movements performed with effectors of the left versus right body side. Prior to scanning, subjects extensively practiced a complex coordination pattern involving cyclical motions of the ipsilateral hand and foot according to a 90 degrees out-of-phase coordination mode. Brain activity associated with this (nonpreferred) coordination pattern was contrasted with pre-existing isodirectional (preferred) coordination to extract the learning-related brain networks. To identify the principal candidates for effector-independent movement encoding, the conjunction of training-related activity for left and right limb coordination was determined. A dominantly left-lateralized parietal-to-(pre)motor activation network was identified, with activation in inferior and superior parietal cortex extending into intraparietal sulcus and activation in the premotor areas, including inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Similar areas were previously identified during observation of complex coordination skills by expert performers. These parietal-premotor areas are principal candidates for abstract (effector-independent) movement encoding, promoting motor equivalence, and they form the highest level in the action representation hierarchy.

  12. Beta Oscillatory Changes and Retention of Motor Skills during Practice in Healthy Subjects and in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Aaron B.; Moisello, Clara; Lin, Jing; Panday, Priya; Ricci, Serena; Canessa, Andrea; Di Rocco, Alessandro; Quartarone, Angelo; Frazzitta, Giuseppe; Isaias, Ioannis U.; Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara; Ghilardi, M. Felice

    2017-01-01

    Recently we found that modulation depth of beta power during movement increases with practice over sensory-motor areas in normal subjects but not in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). As such changes might reflect use-dependent modifications, we concluded that reduction of beta enhancement in PD represents saturation of cortical plasticity. A few questions remained open: What is the relation between these EEG changes and retention of motor skills? Would a second task exposure restore beta modulation enhancement in PD? Do practice-induced increases of beta modulation occur within each block? We thus recorded EEG in patients with PD and age-matched controls in two consecutive days during a 40-min reaching task divided in fifteen blocks of 56 movements each. The results confirmed that, with practice, beta modulation depth over the contralateral sensory-motor area significantly increased across blocks in controls but not in PD, while performance improved in both groups without significant correlations between behavioral and EEG data. The same changes were seen the following day in both groups. Also, beta modulation increased within each block with similar values in both groups and such increases were partially transferred to the successive block in controls, but not in PD. Retention of performance improvement was present in the controls but not in the patients and correlated with the increase in day 1 modulation depth. Therefore, the lack of practice-related increase beta modulation in PD is likely due to deficient potentiation mechanisms that permit between-block saving of beta power enhancement and trigger mechanisms of memory formation. PMID:28326029

  13. Relationship between characteristics on magnetic resonance imaging and motor outcomes in children with cerebral palsy and white matter injury.

    PubMed

    Reid, Susan M; Ditchfield, Michael R; Bracken, Jenny; Reddihough, Dinah S

    2015-01-01

    In a population cohort of children with white matter injury (WMI) and cerebral palsy (CP), we aimed to describe the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics, identify key structure-function relationships, and classify the severity of WMI in a clinically relevant way. Stratified on MRI laterality/symmetry, variables indicating the extent and location of cerebral abnormalities for 272 children with CP and WMI on chronic-phase MRI were related to gross motor function and motor topography using univariable and multivariable approaches. We found that symmetrical involvement, severe WM loss in the hemispheres and corpus callosum, and cerebellar involvement were the strongest predictors of poor gross motor function, but the final model explained only a small proportion of the variability. Bilateral, extensive WM loss was more likely to result in quadriplegia, whereas volume loss in the posterior-mid WM more frequently resulted in diplegia. The extent and location of MRI abnormalities differed according to laterality/symmetry; asymmetry was associated with less extensive hemispheric involvement than symmetrical WMI, and unilateral lesions were more focal and located more anteriorly. In summary, laterality/symmetry of WMI, possibly reflecting different pathogenic mechanisms, together with extent of WM loss and cerebellar abnormality predicted gross motor function in CP, but to a limited extent.

  14. Volumetric Effects of Motor Cortex Injury on Recovery of Dexterous Movements

    PubMed Central

    Darling, Warren G.; Pizzimenti, Marc A.; Rotella, Diane L.; Peterson, Clayton R.; Hynes, Stephanie M.; Ge, Jizhi; Solon, Kathryn; McNeal, David W.; Stilwell-Morecraft, Kimberly S.; Morecraft, Robert J.

    2009-01-01

    Due to the heterogeneous nature of most brain injuries, the contributions of gray and white matter involvement to motor deficits and recovery potential remain obscure. We tested the hypothesis that duration of hand motor impairment and recovery of skilled arm and hand motor function depends on the volume of gray and white matter damage of the frontal lobe. Lesions of the primary motor cortex (M1), M1 + lateral premotor cortex (LPMC), M1 + LPMC + supplementary motor cortex (M2) or multi-focal lesions affecting motor areas and medial prefrontal cortex were evaluated in rhesus monkeys. Fine hand motor function was quantitatively assessed pre-lesion and for 3–12 months post-lesion using two motor tests. White and gray matter lesion volumes were determined using histological and quantitative methods. Regression analyses showed that duration of fine hand motor impairment was strongly correlated (R2 > 0.8) with the volume of gray and white matter lesions, with white matter lesion volume being the primary predictor of impairment duration. Level of recovery of fine hand motor skill was also well correlated (R2 > 0.5) with gray and white matter lesion volume. In some monkeys post-lesion skill exceeded pre-lesion skill in one or both motor tasks demonstrating that continued post-injury task practice can improve motor performance after localized loss of frontal motor cortex. These findings will assist in interpreting acute motor deficits, predicting the time course and expected level of functional recovery, and designing therapeutic strategies in patients with localized frontal lobe injury or neurosurgical resection. PMID:19679127

  15. The Analysis of Certain Differences in Motor Skills of Sedentary Male Children in the 9-14 Age Group Based on the Biological Maturity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayraktar, Isik; Yaman, Nigar; Zorba, Erdal; Yaman, Metin; Günay, Mehmet

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study consists of the analysis of certain differences in motor skills of male children who are sedentary and in the age group of 9-14, in relation to the biological maturity. 522 sedentary male children from various parts of Turkey participated in this study. Body height and body weight measurements were taken from the participants…

  16. [Evaluation of motor skills of adolescents from a large city environment attending the Technical School of Mechanical Engineering and the Grammar School in Lódź].

    PubMed

    Kozłowski, W; Sobczak, Z

    1988-01-01

    A long-term study on the motor skills of juveniles was carried out. The subjects were 104 students from the Secondary School of Mechanical Engineering (SSME) and 37 from Grammar School (GS). The subjects from each of the schools were divided into two subgroups: those undergoing training in a sporting club (sport group--SG) and those who did not practise any sports in an organised way (non-sport group--NSG). Motor skills were examined with the use of the test battery worked out by Denisiuk (60-metre run, 30-metre run with overturn, high force jump, standing long jump test, 300-metre run, 1000-metre run, medical ball throw). General motor skills were expressed in terms of a synthetic coefficient. The motor skills were found to be at high and intermediate levels. Those evaluated by the Denisiuk battery of tests in the SSME students were higher, as compared to those in GS students. Parameters tested in sport groups were higher than respective parameters in NSG groups.

  17. Investigating the Visual-Motor Integration Skills of 60-72-Month-Old Children at High and Low Socio-Economic Status as Regard the Age Factor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ercan, Zülfiye Gül; Ahmetoglu, Emine; Aral, Neriman

    2011-01-01

    This study aims to define whether age creates any differences in the visual-motor integration skills of 60-72 months old children at low and high socio-economic status. The study was conducted on a total of 148 children consisting of 78 children representing low socio-economic status and 70 children representing high socio-economic status in the…

  18. Boys, Girls and Communication: Their Views, Confidence and Why These Skills Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Christina

    2011-01-01

    This is the first large-scale survey of young people's views on communication skills in the UK. The purpose of this survey was three-fold. Since a search of the published literature had highlighted real gaps in knowledge, the author and her colleagues wanted answers to the following questions: What do young people think about communication skills?…

  19. Motor Skills Enhance Procedural Memory Formation and Protect against Age-Related Decline

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Nils C. J.; Genzel, Lisa; Konrad, Boris N.; Pawlowski, Marcel; Neville, David; Fernández, Guillén; Steiger, Axel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to consolidate procedural memories declines with increasing age. Prior knowledge enhances learning and memory consolidation of novel but related information in various domains. Here, we present evidence that prior motor experience–in our case piano skills–increases procedural learning and has a protective effect against age-related decline for the consolidation of novel but related manual movements. In our main experiment, we tested 128 participants with a sequential finger-tapping motor task during two sessions 24 hours apart. We observed enhanced online learning speed and offline memory consolidation for piano players. Enhanced memory consolidation was driven by a strong effect in older participants, whereas younger participants did not benefit significantly from prior piano experience. In a follow up independent control experiment, this compensatory effect of piano experience was not visible after a brief offline period of 30 minutes, hence requiring an extended consolidation window potentially involving sleep. Through a further control experiment, we rejected the possibility that the decreased effect in younger participants was caused by training saturation. We discuss our results in the context of the neurobiological schema approach and suggest that prior experience has the potential to rescue memory consolidation from age-related cognitive decline. PMID:27333186

  20. Maternal reading skills and child mortality in Nigeria: a reassessment of why education matters.

    PubMed

    Smith-Greenaway, Emily

    2013-10-01

    Mother's formal schooling-even at the primary level-is associated with lower risk of child mortality, although the reasons why remain unclear. This study examines whether mother's reading skills help to explain the association in Nigeria. Using data from the Demographic and Health Survey, the analysis demonstrates that women's reading skills increase linearly with years of primary school; however, many women with several years of formal school are unable to read at all. The results further show that mother's reading skills help to explain the relationship between mother's formal schooling and child mortality, and that mother's reading skills are highly associated with child mortality. The study highlights the need for more data on literacy and for more research on whether and how mother's reading skills lower child mortality in other contexts.

  1. Language and Reading Skills in School-Aged Children and Adolescents Born Preterm Are Associated with White Matter Properties on Diffusion Tensor Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feldman, Heidi M.; Lee, Eliana S.; Yeatman, Jason D.; Yeom, Kristen W.

    2012-01-01

    Children born preterm are at risk for deficits in language and reading. They are also at risk for injury to the white matter of the brain. The goal of this study was to determine whether performance in language and reading skills would be associated with white matter properties in children born preterm and full-term. Children born before 36 weeks…

  2. Sensitivity analysis and evaluation of MicroFacPM: a microscale motor vehicle emission factor model for particulate matter emissions.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rakesh B; Huber, Alan H; Braddock, James N

    2007-04-01

    A microscale emission factor model (MicroFacPM) for predicting real-time site-specific motor vehicle particulate matter emissions was presented in the companion paper titled "Development of a Microscale Emission Factor Model for Particulate Matter (MicroFacPM) for Predicting Real-Time Motor Vehicle Emissions". The emission rates discussed are in mass per unit distance with the model providing estimates of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and coarse particulate matter. This paper complements the companion paper by presenting a sensitivity analysis of the model to input variables and evaluation model outputs using data from limited field studies. The sensitivity analysis has shown that MicroFacPM emission estimates are very sensitive to vehicle fleet composition, speed, and the percentage of high-emitting vehicles. The vehicle fleet composition can affect fleet emission rates from 8 mg/mi to 1215 mg/mi; an increase of 5% in the smoking (high-emitting) current average U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet (compared with 0%) increased PM2.5 emission rates by -272% for 2000; and for the current U.S. fleet, PM2.5 emission rates are reduced by a factor of -0.64 for speeds >50 miles per hour (mph) relative to a speed of 10 mph. MicroFacPM can also be applied to examine the contribution of emission rates per vehicle class, model year, and sources of PM. The model evaluation is presented for the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel, Pennsylvania Turnpike, PA, and some limited evaluations at two locations: Sepulveda Tunnel, Los Angeles, CA, and Van Nuys Tunnel, Van Nuys, CA. In general, the performance of MicroFacPM has shown very encouraging results.

  3. Girls can play ball: Stereotype threat reduces variability in a motor skill.

    PubMed

    Huber, Meghan E; Brown, Adam J; Sternad, Dagmar

    2016-09-01

    The majority of research on stereotype threat shows what is expected: threat debilitates performance. However, facilitation is also possible, although seldom reported. This study investigated how stereotype threat influences novice females when performing the sensorimotor task of bouncing a ball to a target. We tested the predictions of two prevailing accounts for debilitation and facilitation due to sterotype threat effects: working memory and mere effort. Experimental results showed that variability in performance decreased more in stigmatized females than in control females, consistent with the prediction of the mere effort account, but inconsistent with the working memory account. These findings suggest that stereotype threat effects may be predicated upon the correctness of the dominant motor behavior, rather than on a novice-expert distinction or task difficulty. Further, a comprehensive understanding should incorporate the fact that stereotype threat can facilitate, as well as debilitate, performance.

  4. Self-Control of Task Difficulty During Early Practice Promotes Motor Skill Learning.

    PubMed

    Andrieux, Mathieu; Boutin, Arnaud; Thon, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    This study was designed to determine whether the effect of self-control of task difficulty on motor learning is a function of the period of self-control administration. In a complex anticipation-coincidence task that required participants to intercept 3 targets with a virtual racquet, the task difficulty was either self-controlled or imposed to the participants in the two phases of the acquisition session. First, the results confirmed the beneficial effects of self-control over fully prescribed conditions. Second, the authors also demonstrated that a partial self-control of task difficulty better promotes learning than does a complete self-controlled procedure. Overall, the results revealed that these benefits are increased when this choice is allowed during early practice. The findings are discussed in terms of theoretical and applied perspectives.

  5. Deficits in Lower Limb Muscle Reflex Contraction Latency and Peak Force Are Associated With Impairments in Postural Control and Gross Motor Skills of Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Shirley S.M.; Ng, Shamay S.M.; Guo, X.; Wang, Yuling; Chung, Raymond C.K.; Stat, Grad; Ki, W.Y.; Macfarlane, Duncan J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract This cross-sectional, exploratory study aimed to compare neuromuscular performance, balance and motor skills proficiencies of typically developing children and those with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and to determine associations of these neuromuscular factors with balance and motor skills performances in children with DCD. One hundred thirty children with DCD and 117 typically developing children participated in the study. Medial hamstring and gastrocnemius muscle activation onset latencies in response to an unexpected posterior-to-anterior trunk perturbation were assessed by electromyography and accelerometer. Hamstring and gastrocnemius muscle peak force and time to peak force were quantified by dynamometer, and balance and motor skills performances were evaluated with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). Independent t tests revealed that children with DCD had longer hamstring and gastrocnemius muscle activation onset latencies (P < 0.001) and lower isometric peak forces (P < 0.001), but not times to peak forces (P > 0.025), than the controls. Multiple regression analysis accounting for basic demographics showed that gastrocnemius peak force was independently associated with the MABC balance subscore and ball skills subscore, accounting for 5.7% (P = 0.003) and 8.5% (P = 0.001) of the variance, respectively. Gastrocnemius muscle activation onset latency also explained 11.4% (P < 0.001) of the variance in the MABC ball skills subscore. Children with DCD had delayed leg muscle activation onset times and lower isometric peak forces. Gastrocnemius peak force was associated with balance and ball skills performances, whereas timing of gastrocnemius muscle activation was a determinant of ball skill performance in the DCD population. PMID:26469921

  6. Speed and accuracy in the learning of a complex motor skill.

    PubMed

    Engelhorn, R

    1997-12-01

    The effect of emphasizing speed or accuracy on the learning of a high speed-high accuracy skill, the fastpitch softball pitch was investigated. 26 10- and 11-yr.-old girls were randomly assigned to two groups receiving feedback on speed of throwing or accuracy of throwing during a 6-wk. training. Measurements of speed and accuracy were made and recorded on all participants at each practice session and a videotape of their pitching technique was also made at each session. Data were subjected to 2 x 3 (2 groups by 3 testing times) repeated-measures analyses of variance. The speed group threw faster and with better technique during the study and was able to maintain speed and accuracy in the reversed test condition.

  7. Developing resident learning profiles: Do scientific evidence epistemology beliefs, EBM self-efficacy beliefs and EBM skills matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, Nancy J.

    This study investigated resident scientific evidence epistemology beliefs, evidence based medicine (EBM) self-efficacy beliefs, and EBM skills. A convenience sample of fifty-one residents located in six U.S. based residency programs completed an online instrument. Hofer's epistemology survey questionnaire was modified to test responses based on four types of scientific evidence encountered in medical practice (Clinical Trial Phase 1, Clinical Trial Phase 3, Meta-analysis and Qualitative). It was hypothesized that epistemology beliefs would differ based on the type of scientific evidence considered. A principal components analysis produced a two factor solution that was significant across type of scientific evidence suggesting that when evaluating epistemology beliefs context does matter. Factor 1 is related to the certainty of research methods and the certainty of medical conclusions and factor 2 denotes medical justification. For each type of scientific evidence, both factors differed on questions comprising the factor structure with significant differences found for the factor 1 and 2 questions. A justification belief case problem using checklist format was triangulated with the survey results, and as predicted the survey and checklist justification z scores indicated no significant differences, and two new justification themes emerged. Modified versions of Finney and Schraw's statistical self-efficacy and skill instruments produced expected significant EBM score correlations with unexpected results indicating that the number of EBM and statistics courses are not significant for EBM self-efficacy and skill scores. The study results were applied to the construction of a learning profile that provided residents belief and skill feedback specific to individual learning needs. The learning profile design incorporated core values related to 'Believer' populations that focus on art, harmony, tact and diplomacy. Future research recommendations include testing context

  8. Concurrent counting and typing: lateralized interference depends on a difference between the hands in motor skill.

    PubMed

    Hiscock, Merrill; Caroselli, Jerome S; Wood, Stacey

    2006-01-01

    In previous demonstrations of differences between left- and right-handers in dual-task performance, participants' hand preference has been confounded with asymmetry of manual skill. The present study was designed to disentangle those two factors as sources of lateralized interference in the concurrent-task paradigm. Forty-eight normal adults (24 females and 24 males) counted backward by ones or by twos while typing an easy or difficult sequence of letters with either hand. When participants were grouped according to self-reported hand preference, both groups showed bilaterally symmetric slowing, relative to single-task conditions. However, when the same participants were grouped according to manual asymmetry in the baseline condition, the cognitive task interfered significantly more with the faster hand than with the slower hand. Baseline typing rate, averaged across hands, did not influence dual-task interference. Both self-reported left-hand preference and left-hand superiority in baseline typing were associated with reduced interference on the cognitive task, and the reduced interference in those groups seemed to reflect relatively loose coupling between manual and cognitive tasks. The results support and extend Caroselli et al.'s (1997) findings regarding the effect of baseline manual asymmetry on the pattern of dual-task interference. Irrespective of the participant's hand preference, the presence or absence of baseline asymmetry may be sufficient to determine whether dual-task interference is lateralized.

  9. Summary and frequency of KR presentation effects on retention of a motor skill.

    PubMed

    Sidaway, B; Moore, B; Schoenfelder-Zohdi, B

    1991-03-01

    This experiment investigates the recent proposal of Schmidt, Young, Swinnen, and Shapiro (1989) that summary knowledge of results (KR) improves skill retention. In Schmidt et al.'s experiment, however, summary length varied concomitantly with the frequency of KR presentation. The current investigation held KR presentation frequency constant while manipulating the number of trials seen in the summary KR display. Subjects were required to perform a timing task on a linear slide. Five groups (n = 12) of subjects participated in acquisition trials then in 10-min and 2-day delayed no-KR retention tests. In 4 conditions, subjects completed each acquisition block without any KR, but following each block they received KR on either 15, 7, 3, or 1 of the 15 trials performed in that block. In the final condition subjects received immediate KR. Analysis of the absolute constant error (magnitude of CE) data for acquisition revealed all groups improved with practice and the immediate KR group performed better than all the summary groups which in turn did not differ significantly. Analysis of the magnitude of CE retention data found performance to be worse on the 2-day retention test for all groups. The effect of condition was significant. The 1/1 group had lower error scores than all other groups, which in turn were not significantly different. Analyses of variable error (VE) revealed only that VE decreased with practice. These findings suggest frequency of KR presentation may be the basis for the summary KR effect found by Schmidt et al. (1989).

  10. Lower extremity preference during gross and fine motor skills performed in sitting and standing postures.

    PubMed

    Beling, J; Wolfe, G A; Allen, K A; Boyle, J M

    1998-12-01

    The evaluation of lower limb preference in physical therapy practice is critical in order for the clinician to assist patients with functional retraining tasks. No studies in the physical therapy literature present a systematic approach to determine the criteria needed to identify the preferred limb. This research was designed to present a series of tests for effectiveness in determining limb preference. The purpose of this study was to determine whether lower limb preference existed in a group of recreationally athletic women when performing either stability or dynamic skills with the lower extremities while sitting or standing. The relationship of such a preference to handedness was also determined. Forty female recreational athletes, 20 right-handed subjects and 20 left-handed subjects, who ranged in age from 21 to 35 years, participated in this study. Subjects performed three repetitions of the following tests in both sitting and standing: kick a ball, swing a leg over a box, pick up a marble with the toes, and trace a triangle with the toes. The subjects were also asked to stand on one leg. The order of performing the tests was randomized. The results indicated that right-handed subjects performed activities more consistently with one lower extremity when compared with left-handed subjects, regardless of posture (sitting or standing). The difference in limb choice between right- and left-handed subjects was significant for all activities (p < .05). The considerable sensitivity of foot and leg performance following neurological insult renders the assessment of foot and leg preference very important for purposes of clinical rehabilitation.

  11. Fine motor skills enhance lexical processing of embodied vocabulary: A test of the nimble-hands, nimble-minds hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Suggate, Sebastian; Stoeger, Heidrun

    2016-09-14

    Research suggests that fine motor skills (FMS) are linked to aspects of cognitive development in children. Additionally, lexical processing advantages exist for words implying a high body-object interaction (BOI), with initial findings indicating that such words in turn link to children's FMS-for which we propose and evaluate four competing hypotheses. First, a maturational account argues that any links between FMS and lexical processing should not exist once developmental variables are controlled for. Second, functionalism posits that any link between FMS and lexical processing arises due to environmental interactions. Third, the semantic richness hypothesis argues that sensorimotor input improves lexical processing, but predicts no links between FMS and lexical processing. A fourth account, the nimble-hands, nimble minds (NHNM) hypothesis, proposes that having greater FMS improves lexical processing for high-BOI words. In two experiments, the response latencies of preschool children (n = 90, n = 76, ages = 5;1) to 45 lexical items encompassing high-BOI, low-BOI, and less imageable words were measured, alongside measures of FMS, reasoning, and general receptive/expressive vocabulary. High-BOI words appeared to show unique links to FMS, which remained after accounting for low-BOI and less imageable words, general vocabulary, reasoning, and chronological age. Although further work is needed, the findings provide initial support for the NHNM hypothesis.

  12. The negative cell cycle regulator, Tob (transducer of ErbB-2), is involved in motor skill learning

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Xinming; Gao Xiang; Zhang Xuehan; Tu Yanyang; Jin Meilei; Zhao Guoping; Yu Lei; Jing Naihe; Li Baoming . E-mail: bmli@fudan.edu.cn

    2006-02-24

    Tob (transducer of ErbB-2) is a negative cell cycle regulator with anti-proliferative activity in peripheral tissues. Our previous study identified Tob as a protein involved in hippocampus-dependent memory consolidation (M.L. Jin, X.M. Wang, Y.Y. Tu, X.H. Zhang, X. Gao, N. Guo, Z.Q. Xie, G.P. Zhao, N.H. Jing, B.M. Li, Y.Yu, The negative cell cycle regulator, Tob (Transducer of ErbB-2), is a multifunctional protein involved in hippocampus-dependent learning and memory, Neuroscience 131 (2005) 647-659). Here, we provide evidence that Tob in the central nervous system is engaged in acquisition of motor skill. Tob has a relatively high expression in the cerebellum. Tob expression is up-regulated in the cerebellum after rats receive training on a rotarod-running task. Rats infused with Tob antisense oligonucleotides into the 4th ventricle exhibit a severe deficit in running on a rotating rod or walking across a horizontally elevated beam.

  13. Independent Living Skills Can Be Fun! How One Mom Took Matters into Her Own Hands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoenfeld, Jane

    2006-01-01

    Jane Schoenfeld's eighteen-year-old daughter and five of her daughter's friends have major learning differences. After searching fruitlessly for a summer class in independent living skills, Shoenfeld relates how she and the parents of her daughter's friends decided to set up their own summer program. They found a facilitator and invited two…

  14. Rhetorical Meta-Language to Promote the Development of Students' Writing Skills and Subject Matter Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pelger, Susanne; Sigrell, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Background: Feedback is one of the most significant factors for students' development of writing skills. For feedback to be successful, however, students and teachers need a common language--a meta-language--for discussing texts. Not least because in science education such a meta-language might contribute to improve writing training and…

  15. Children with Poor Reading Skills at the Word Level Show Reduced Fractional Anisotropy in White Matter Tracts of Both Hemispheres.

    PubMed

    de Moura, Luciana Monteiro; Cogo-Moreira, Hugo; de Ávila, Clara Regina Brandão; Pan, Pedro Mario; Gadelha, Ary; Moriyama, Tais; Del Aquilla, Marco Antonio; Hoexter, Marcelo; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Picon, Felipe Almeida; Anés, Mauricio; Mercadante, Marcos Tomanik; Lacerda, Acioly; Amaro, Edson; Miguel, Euripedes Constantino; Rohde, Luis Augusto; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; McGuire, Philip; Sato, João Ricardo; de Jesus Mari, Jair; Jackowski, Andrea Parolin

    2016-09-01

    Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies showed that microstructural alterations are correlated to reading skills. In this study, we aim to investigate white matter microstructure of a group of Portuguese speakers with poor reading level, using different parameters of DTI. To perform this analysis, we selected children ranging from 8 to 12 years of age, poor readers (n = 17) and good readers (n = 23), evaluated in the word-level ability based on a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) of Academic Performance Test (TDE). Poor readers exhibited significant fractional anisotropy (FA) reductions in many tracts of both hemispheres, but small and restricted clusters of increased radial diffusivity (RD) in the left hemisphere. Spatial coherence of fibers might be the main source of differences, as changes in FA were not similarly accompanied in terms of extension by changes in RD. Widespread structural alterations in the white matter could prevent good reading ability at word level, which is consistent with recent studies demonstrating the involvement of multiple cortical regions and white matter tracts in reading disabilities.

  16. Neurocognitive Predictors of Mathematical Processing in School-Aged Children with Spina Bifida and Their Typically Developing Peers: Attention, Working Memory, and Fine Motor Skills

    PubMed Central

    Raghubar, Kimberly P.; Barnes, Marcia A.; Dennis, Maureen; Cirino, Paul T.; Taylor, Heather; Landry, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Objective Math and attention are related in neurobiological and behavioral models of mathematical cognition. This study employed model-driven assessments of attention and math in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM), who have known math difficulties and specific attentional deficits, to more directly examine putative relations between attention and mathematical processing. The relation of other domain general abilities and math was also investigated. Method Participants were 9.5-year-old children with SBM (N = 44) and typically developing children (N = 50). Participants were administered experimental exact and approximate arithmetic tasks, and standardized measures of math fluency and calculation. Cognitive measures included the Attention Network Test (ANT), and standardized measures of fine motor skills, verbal working memory (WM), and visual-spatial WM. Results Children with SBM performed similarly to peers on exact arithmetic but more poorly on approximate and standardized arithmetic measures. On the ANT, children with SBM differed from controls on orienting attention but not alerting and executive attention. Multiple mediation models showed that: fine motor skills and verbal WM mediated the relation of group to approximate arithmetic; fine motor skills and visual-spatial WM mediated the relation of group to math fluency; and verbal and visual-spatial WM mediated the relation of group to math calculation. Attention was not a significant mediator of the effects of group for any aspect of math in this study. Conclusions Results are discussed with reference to models of attention, WM, and mathematical cognition. PMID:26011113

  17. The effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for adolescents with high-functioning autism: two single-subject design cases.

    PubMed

    Gutman, Sharon A; Raphael, Emily I; Ceder, Leila M; Khan, Arshi; Timp, Katherine M; Salvant, Sabrina

    2010-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for two adolescents with high-functioning autism (HFA) using single-subject design. A description of the intervention is provided as a first step in the manualization process. The intervention was provided as a 7-week after-school program, once weekly to the paired participants. Intervention consisted of role-play methods in which motor behaviours were linked with their cognitive and emotional meanings. Baseline, intervention and 3-month probe data collection periods were carried out and then compared using visual inspection of graphed data, paired t-tests and a three-standard-deviation-band approach. Both participants displayed a statistically significant increase in targeted social skills behaviours from baseline to intervention and maintained this level at a 3-month post-intervention probe. These single-subject design cases illustrate that motor-based, social skills interventions may be effective for adolescents with HFA and warrant further testing.

  18. Technology-assisted training of arm-hand skills in stroke: concepts on reacquisition of motor control and therapist guidelines for rehabilitation technology design

    PubMed Central

    Timmermans, Annick AA; Seelen, Henk AM; Willmann, Richard D; Kingma, Herman

    2009-01-01

    Background It is the purpose of this article to identify and review criteria that rehabilitation technology should meet in order to offer arm-hand training to stroke patients, based on recent principles of motor learning. Methods A literature search was conducted in PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE (1997–2007). Results One hundred and eighty seven scientific papers/book references were identified as being relevant. Rehabilitation approaches for upper limb training after stroke show to have shifted in the last decade from being analytical towards being focussed on environmentally contextual skill training (task-oriented training). Training programmes for enhancing motor skills use patient and goal-tailored exercise schedules and individual feedback on exercise performance. Therapist criteria for upper limb rehabilitation technology are suggested which are used to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a number of current technological systems. Conclusion This review shows that technology for supporting upper limb training after stroke needs to align with the evolution in rehabilitation training approaches of the last decade. A major challenge for related technological developments is to provide engaging patient-tailored task oriented arm-hand training in natural environments with patient-tailored feedback to support (re) learning of motor skills. PMID:19154570

  19. The effect of a motor skills training program in the improvement of practiced and non-practiced tasks performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD).

    PubMed

    Farhat, Faiçal; Hsairi, Ines; Baati, Hamza; Smits-Engelsman, B C M; Masmoudi, Kaouthar; Mchirgui, Radhouane; Triki, Chahnez; Moalla, Wassim

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of a group-based task oriented skills training program on motor and physical ability for children with DCD. It was also investigated if there was an effect on fine motor and handwriting tasks that were not specifically practiced during the training program. Forty-one children aged 6-10years took part in this study. Children were assigned to three groups: an experimental training group consisting of 14 children with DCD, a control non-training group consisted of 13 children with DCD and a control non-training group consisting of 14 typically developed children. The measurements included were, the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), the Modified Agility Test (MAT), the Triple Hop Distance (THD), the 5 Jump-test (5JT) and the Handwriting Performance Test. All measures were administered pre and post an 8-week training program. The results showed that 10 children of the DCD training-group improved their performance in MABC test, attaining a score above the 15th percentile after their participation in the training program. DCD training-group showed a significant improvement on all cluster scores (manual dexterity (t (13)=5.3, p<.001), ball skills (t (13)=2.73, p<.05) and balance (t (13)=5.13, p<.001). Significant performance improvements were also found in MAT, THD, 5JT (t (13)=-4.55; p<.01), handwriting quality (t (12)=-2.73; p<.05) and speed (t (12)=-4.2; p<.01) after the training program. In conclusion, improvement in both practiced and non-practiced skills, in the training program, may reflect improvement in motor skill but also transfer to other skills.

  20. Ownership Status and Length of Stay in Skilled Nursing Facilities: Does Endogeneity Matter?

    PubMed

    Bowblis, John R; Horowitz, John; Brunt, Christopher S

    2016-03-01

    In 1998, Medicare implemented the Prospective Payment System for post-acute care provided by skilled nursing facilities. This system paid a fixed price per day above the cost of care, creating an incentive to provide longer length of stays to increase revenues. In this paper, we examine whether there are systematic differences in length of stay for post-acute care patients between for-profit and not-for-profit skilled nursing facilities. Based on the financial incentives inherent in the reimbursement system, we develop a conceptual framework that argues for-profits will provide a greater number of days of care to increase profits relative to not-for-profits. We find significant differences in length of stay by ownership, but once patient selection into a facility is accounted for using two-staged residual inclusion, there is no statistical differences in length of stay between for-profit and not-for-profit facilities.

  1. The addition of functional task-oriented mental practice to conventional physical therapy improves motor skills in daily functions after stroke*

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Couto-Paz, Clarissa C.; Teixeira-Salmela, Luci F.; Tierra-Criollo, Carlos J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Mental practice (MP) is a cognitive strategy which may improve the acquisition of motor skills and functional performance of athletes and individuals with neurological injuries. Objective To determine whether an individualized, specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional physical therapy (PT), promoted better learning of motor skills in daily functions in individuals with chronic stroke (13±6.5 months post-stroke). Method Nine individuals with stable mild and moderate upper limb impairments participated, by employing an A1-B-A2 single-case design. Phases A1 and A2 included one month of conventional PT, and phase B the addition of MP training to PT. The motor activity log (MAL-Brazil) was used to assess the amount of use (AOU) and quality of movement (QOM) of the paretic upper limb; the revised motor imagery questionnaire (MIQ-RS) to assess the abilities in kinesthetic and visual motor imagery; the Minnesota manual dexterity test to assess manual dexterity; and gait speed to assess mobility. Results After phase A1, no significant changes were observed for any of the outcome measures. However, after phase B, significant improvements were observed for the MAL, AOU and QOM scores (p<0.0001), and MIQ-RS kinesthetic and visual scores (p=0.003; p=0.007, respectively). The significant gains in manual dexterity (p=0.002) and gait speed (p=0.019) were maintained after phase A2. Conclusions Specific functional task-oriented MP, when added to conventional PT, led to improvements in motor imagery abilities combined with increases in the AOU and QOM in daily functions, manual dexterity, and gait speed. PMID:24271094

  2. Impact of aerobic exercise on sleep and motor skills in children with autism spectrum disorders – a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Serge; Jossen, Stefanie; Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith; Pühse, Uwe; Gerber, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Background Prevalence rates of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have increased dramatically in the last two decades. In addition to the core symptoms such as impaired communication, difficulties in social interaction, and restricted and stereotypical patterns of behavior and interests, poor sleep and motor skill (MS) deficits have also been observed in children with ASD. On the other hand, there is evidence that aerobic exercise training (AET) has a positive impact on sleep, and that specific training improves MSs. Accordingly, the aim of the present pilot study was to investigate to what extent a combination of AET and MS training (MST) would improve sleep and physical performance in a small sample of children with ASD. Methods Ten children with ASD (mean age: 10 years) took part in the study. After a thorough medical examination and psychiatric assessment, children participated in thrice-weekly 60-minute sessions of AET and MST lasting for 3 consecutive weeks. Sleep was assessed both objectively (sleep-encephalography [sleep-EEG]) and subjectively (parents’ questionnaire). MSs were assessed via standardized test batteries. Parents completed sleep and mood logs, and ratings of mood. Results Mild-to-moderate insomnia was reported in 70% of children. Compared to nights without previous AET and MS, on nights following AET and MS, sleep efficiency increased (d=1.07), sleep onset latency shortened (d=0.38), and wake time after sleep onset decreased for 63% of the sample (d=1.09), as assessed via sleep-EEG. Mood in the morning, as rated by parents, improved after three weeks (d=0.90), as did MSs (ball playing, balance exercise: ds>0.6). Conclusion The pattern of results of this pilot study suggests that regular AET and MST impact positively on sleep, MSs, and mood among children with ASD. PMID:26346856

  3. Motor Matters: Tackling Heterogeneity of Parkinson’s Disease in Functional MRI Studies

    PubMed Central

    Möller, Harald E.; Sieger, Tomáš; Schroeter, Matthias L.; Vymazal, Josef; Růžička, Evžen; Jech, Robert

    2013-01-01

    To tackle the heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms, most functional imaging studies tend to select a uniform group of subjects. We hypothesize that more profound considerations are needed to account for intra/inter-subject clinical variability and possibly for differing pathophysiological processes. Twelve patients were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging during visually-guided finger tapping. To account for disease heterogeneity, the motor score and individual symptom scores from the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III) were utilized in the group-level model using two approaches either as the explanatory variable or as the effect of interest. Employment of the UPDRS-III score and symptom scores was systematically tested on the resulting group response to the levodopa challenge, which further accentuated the diversity of the diseased state of participants. Statistics revealed a bilateral group response to levodopa in the basal ganglia. Interestingly, systematic incorporation of individual motor aspects of the disease in the modelling amended the resulting activity patterns conspicuously, evidencing a manifold amount of explained variability by the particular score. In conclusion, the severity of clinical symptoms expressed in the UPDRS-III scores should be considered in the analysis to attain unbiased statistics, draw reliable conclusions and allow for comparisons between research groups studying Parkinson’s disease using functional magnetic resonance imaging. PMID:23418522

  4. [Calculating emissions of exhaust particulate matter from motor vehicles with PART5 model].

    PubMed

    Wu, Ye; Hao, Jiming; Li, Wei; Fu, Lixin

    2002-01-30

    PART5, a vehicle particulate emission factor model developed by USEPA, was modified and then used to obtain the emission factors of exhaust PM10 and PM2.5 from on-road automobiles, trucks and motorcycles in Beijing. The total exhaust PM10 and PM2.5 emissions from motor vehicles in 1995 and 1998 were calculated separately. The contribution ratios of different types of vehicles to the total vehicular emissions, and the share of different exhaust particulate components including Pb, direct SO4(2-), soluble organic fraction (SOF) and remaining carbon portion (RCP), were also estimated. It was shown that the emission factors of exhaust PM10 and PM2.5 from gasoline motor vehicles, motorcycles and heavy-duty diesel vehicles in Beijing were 1.7-8.6 times, 2.1-3.5 times and 1.3-1.5 times, respectively, of the USA average emission levels during the same period. The total exhaust PM10 and PM2.5 from vehicles were 2445 tons and 1890 tons in 1995 in Beijing, and increased to 3359 tons and 2694 tons in 1998, which increase by 37.4% and 42.5%, respectively.

  5. ACQUISITION OF A SIMPLE MOTOR SKILL: TASK-DEPENDENT ADAPTATION PLUS LONG-TERM CHANGE IN THE HUMAN SOLEUS H-REFLEX

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, A.K.; Chen, X.Y.; Wolpaw, J.R.

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent plasticity occurs throughout the CNS. However, investigations of skill acquisition usually focus on cortex. To expand the focus, we analyzed in humans the development of operantly conditioned H-reflex change, a simple motor skill that develops gradually and involves plasticity in both the brain and the spinal cord. Each person completed 6 baseline and 24 conditioning sessions over 10 weeks. In each conditioning session, the soleus H-reflex was measured while the subject was or was not asked to increase (HRup subjects) or decrease (HRdown subjects) it. When the subject was asked to change H-reflex size, immediate visual feedback indicated whether a size criterion had been satisfied. Over the 24 conditioning sessions, H-reflex size gradually increased in 6 of 8 HRup subjects and decreased in 8 of 9 HRdown subjects, resulting in final sizes of 140(±12)% and 69(±6)% of baseline size, respectively. The final H-reflex change was the sum of within-session (i.e., task-dependent) adaptation and across-session (i.e., long-term) change. Task-dependent adaptation appeared within 4–6 sessions and persisted thereafter, averaging +13% in HRup subjects and −15% in HRdown subjects. In contrast, long-term change began after 10 sessions and increased gradually thereafter, reaching +27% in HRup subjects and −16% in HRdown subjects. Thus, the acquisition of H-reflex conditioning consists of two phenomena – task-dependent adaptation and long-term change – that together constitute the new motor skill. In combination with previous data, this new finding further elucidates the interaction of plasticity in brain and spinal cord that underlies the acquisition and maintenance of motor skills. PMID:19420246

  6. Inducible ablation of dopamine D2 receptors in adult mice impairs locomotion, motor skill learning and leads to severe parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Bello, E P; Casas-Cordero, R; Galiñanes, G L; Casey, E; Belluscio, M A; Rodríguez, V; Noaín, D; Murer, M G; Rubinstein, M

    2017-04-01

    Motor execution and planning are tightly regulated by dopamine D1 and D2 receptors present in basal ganglia circuits. Although stimulation of D1 receptors is known to enhance motor function, the global effect of D2 receptor (D2R) stimulation or blockade remains highly controversial, with studies showing increasing, decreasing or no changes in motor activity. Moreover, pharmacological and genetic attempts to block or eliminate D2R have led to controversial results that questioned the importance of D2R in motor function. In this study, we generated an inducible Drd2 null-allele mouse strain that circumvented developmental compensations found in constitutive Drd2(-/-) mice and allowed us to directly evaluate the participation of D2R in spontaneous locomotor activity and motor learning. We have found that loss of D2R during adulthood causes severe motor impairments, including hypolocomotion, deficits in motor coordination, impaired learning of new motor routines and spontaneous catatonia. Moreover, severe motor impairment, resting tremor and abnormal gait and posture, phenotypes reminiscent of Parkinson's disease, were evident when the mutation was induced in aged mice. Altogether, the conditional Drd2 knockout model studied here revealed the overall fundamental contribution of D2R in motor functions and explains some of the side effects elicited by D2R blockers when used in neurological and psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette's syndrome, dementia, alcohol-induced delusions and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  7. Final report for measurement of primary particulate matter emissions from light-duty motor vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Norbeck, J. M.; Durbin, T. D.; Truex, T. J.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes the results of a particulate emissions study conducted at the University of California, Riverside, College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) from September of 1996 to August of 1997. The goal of this program was to expand the database of particulate emissions measurements from motor vehicles to include larger numbers of representative in-use vehicles. This work was co-sponsored by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and was part of a larger study of particulate emissions being conducted in several states under sponsorship by CRC. For this work, FTP particulate mass emission rates were determined for gasoline and diesel vehicles, along with the fractions of particulates below 2.5 and 10 microns aerodynamic diameter. A total of 129 gasoline-fueled vehicles and 19 diesel-fueled vehicles were tested as part of the program.

  8. Quality matters! Differences between expressive and receptive non-verbal communication skills in adolescents with ASD.

    PubMed

    Grossman, Ruth B; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2012-07-01

    We analyzed several studies of non-verbal communication (prosody and facial expressions) completed in our lab and conducted a secondary analysis to compare performance on receptive vs. expressive tasks by adolescents with ASD and their typically developing peers. Results show a significant between-group difference for the aggregate score of expressive tasks, but not for the aggregate score of receptive tasks. There was also a significant within-group difference among individuals with ASD for expressive vs. receptive performance. Our data indicate that adolescents with ASD can achieve receptive accuracy in non-verbal communication, but show significant qualitative deficits in expressive skills across a range of tasks, which may have a significant negative impact on their success as social communicators.

  9. What matters? Assessing and developing inquiry and multivariable reasoning skills in high school chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daftedar Abdelhadi, Raghda Mohamed

    Although the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) present a detailed set of Science and Engineering Practices, a finer grained representation of the underlying skills is lacking in the standards document. Therefore, it has been reported that teachers are facing challenges deciphering and effectively implementing the standards, especially with regards to the Practices. This analytical study assessed the development of high school chemistry students' (N = 41) inquiry, multivariable causal reasoning skills, and metacognition as a mediator for their development. Inquiry tasks based on concepts of element properties of the periodic table as well as reaction kinetics required students to conduct controlled thought experiments, make inferences, and declare predictions of the level of the outcome variable by coordinating the effects of multiple variables. An embedded mixed methods design was utilized for depth and breadth of understanding. Various sources of data were collected including students' written artifacts, audio recordings of in-depth observational groups and interviews. Data analysis was informed by a conceptual framework formulated around the concepts of coordinating theory and evidence, metacognition, and mental models of multivariable causal reasoning. Results of the study indicated positive change towards conducting controlled experimentation, making valid inferences and justifications. Additionally, significant positive correlation between metastrategic and metacognitive competencies, and sophistication of experimental strategies, signified the central role metacognition played. Finally, lack of consistency in indicating effective variables during the multivariable prediction task pointed towards the fragile mental models of multivariable causal reasoning the students had. Implications for teacher education, science education policy as well as classroom research methods are discussed. Finally, recommendations for developing reform-based chemistry

  10. Reading, Mathematics and Fine Motor Skills at 5 Years of Age in US Children who were Extremely Premature at Birth.

    PubMed

    Lee, Miryoung; Pascoe, John M; McNicholas, Caroline I

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The prevalence of extreme prematurity at birth has increased, but little research has examined its impact on developmental outcomes in large representative samples within the United States. This study examined the association of extreme prematurity with kindergarteners' reading skills, mathematics skills and fine motor skills. Methods The early childhood longitudinal study-birth cohort, a representative sample of the US children born in 2001 was analyzed for this study. Early reading and mathematics skills and fine motor skills were compared among 200 extremely premature children (EPC) (gestational age <28 wks or birthweight <1000 g), 500 premature children (PC), and 4300 term children (TC) (≥37wks or ≥2500 g). Generalized linear regression analyses included sampling weights, children's age, race, sex, and general health status, and parental marital status and education among singleton children. Results At age 5 years, EPC were 2.6(95 % CI 1.7-3.8) times more likely to fail build a gate and were 3.1(95 % CI 1.6-5.8) times more likely to fail all four drawing tasks compared to TC (p values <0.001). Fine motor performance of PC (failed to build a gate, 1.3[95 % CI 1.0-1.7]; failed to draw all four shapes, 1.1[95 % CI 0.8-1.6]) was not significantly different from TC. Mean early reading scale score (36.8[SE:1.3]) of EPC was 4.0 points lower than TC (p value < 0.0001) while mean reading score (39.9[SE:1.4]) of PC was not significantly different from TC (40.8[SE:1.1]). Mean mathematics scale score were significantly lower for both EPC (35.5[SE:1.0], p value < 0.001) and PC (39.8[SE:0.8], p value = 0.023) compared to TC (41.0[SE:0.6]). Conclusions for Practice Extreme prematurity at birth was associated with cognitive and fine motor delays at age 5 years. This suggests that based on a nationally representative sample of infants, the biological risk of extreme prematurity persists after adjusting for other factors related to development.

  11. History of Illicit Stimulant Use Is Not Associated with Long-Lasting Changes in Learning of Fine Motor Skills in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Todd, Gabrielle; Pearson-Dennett, Verity; Flavel, Stanley C.; Haberfield, Miranda; Edwards, Hannah; White, Jason M.

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the long-lasting effect of use of illicit stimulant drugs on learning of new motor skills. We hypothesised that abstinent individuals with a history of primarily methamphetamine and ecstasy use would exhibit normal learning of a visuomotor tracking task compared to controls. The study involved three groups: abstinent stimulant users (n = 21; 27 ± 6 yrs) and two gender-matched control groups comprising nondrug users (n = 16; 22 ± 4 yrs) and cannabis users (n = 16; 23 ± 5 yrs). Motor learning was assessed with a three-minute visuomotor tracking task. Subjects were instructed to follow a moving target on a computer screen with movement of the index finger. Metacarpophalangeal joint angle and first dorsal interosseous electromyographic activity were recorded. Pattern matching was assessed by cross-correlation of the joint angle and target traces. Distance from the target (tracking error) was also calculated. Motor learning was evident in the visuomotor task. Pattern matching improved over time (cross-correlation coefficient) and tracking error decreased. However, task performance did not differ between the groups. The results suggest that learning of a new fine visuomotor skill is unchanged in individuals with a history of illicit stimulant use. PMID:26819778

  12. White matter integrity and cognition in mild traumatic brain injury following motor vehicle accident.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Kunlin; Zhu, Yongshan; Zhang, Yulong; Yin, Zhiyong; Zhang, Jingna; Qiu, Mingguo; Zhang, Weiguo

    2014-12-03

    The aim of this study is to explore the white matter structure integrity in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and to analyze the relationship between the white matter structure integrity and cognitive impairment of patients with mTBI. Twenty-five patients with mTBI and 25 healthy control subjects were studied with conventional MR imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) maps of patients with mTBI were calculated and compared, with these control maps using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS). Significantly lower fractional anisotropy was found in patients in the uncinate fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and internal capsule. Mean diffusivity was significantly elevated in the body of corpus callosum, uncinate fasciculus, superior longitudinal fasciculus, and internal capsule in the mTBI group compared with the control group (P<0.05). The mTBI group showed a significant negative correlation between the elevated mean diffusivity of the uncinate fasciculus and the working memory index (WMI) (R(2)=0.51, P<0.05), and the internal capsule of MD values was significantly negatively related to processing speed index (PSI) (R(2)=0.45, P<0.05). There was a positive correlation between the FA value of the uncinate fasciculus and Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) in the mTBI patient group (R(2)=0.36, P<0.05). TBSS analysis of DTI suggests that patients with mTBI have focal axonal injury, and the pathophysiology is significantly related to the MMSE and IQ of mTBI patients. Diffusion tensor imaging can be a powerful technique for in vivo detection of mTBI, and can help in the diagnosis of patients with mTBI.

  13. Activities for a Perceptual Motor Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brinning, Dorothy; And Others

    Perceptual motor activities for physically handicapped children are presented in the areas of fine and gross motor skills. Also detailed are activities to develop body image, visual motor skills, and tactile and auditory perception. (JD)

  14. A Comparison Study of Gross Motor Development Skills of Normal, Hearing-Impaired and Down Syndrome Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bilir, Sule; And Others

    This study, conducted in Ankara, Turkey, compared motor development in 48 normal children (ages 3 to 6), 12 children (ages 5 to 7) with Down syndrome, and 33 children (ages 3 to 7) with hearing impairments. The Motor Development Section of the Portage Early Childhood Educational Program checklist was administered to all the children. Results…

  15. The Relationship between Motor Skill Proficiency and Body Mass Index in Children with and without Dyslexia: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Logan, S. Wood; Getchell, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was twofold. First, the authors wanted to examine the associations of motor proficiency and body composition in children with and without dyslexia. They hypothesized there would be a negative relationship between body composition (measured by body mass index [BMI]) and motor proficiency (measured by MABC [Movement…

  16. White matter pathology in ALS and lower motor neuron ALS variants: a diffusion tensor imaging study using tract-based spatial statistics.

    PubMed

    Prudlo, Johannes; Bißbort, Charlotte; Glass, Aenne; Grossmann, Annette; Hauenstein, Karlheinz; Benecke, Reiner; Teipel, Stefan J

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this work was to investigate white-matter microstructural changes within and outside the corticospinal tract in classical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in lower motor neuron (LMN) ALS variants by means of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We investigated 22 ALS patients and 21 age-matched controls utilizing a whole-brain approach with a 1.5-T scanner for DTI. The patient group was comprised of 15 classical ALS- and seven LMN ALS-variant patients (progressive muscular atrophy, flail arm and flail leg syndrome). Disease severity was measured by the revised version of the functional rating scale. White matter fractional anisotropy (FA) was assessed using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and a region of interest (ROI) approach. We found significant FA reductions in motor and extra-motor cerebral fiber tracts in classical ALS and in the LMN ALS-variant patients compared to controls. The voxel-based TBSS results were confirmed by the ROI findings. The white matter damage correlated with the disease severity in the patient group and was found in a similar distribution, but to a lesser extent, among the LMN ALS-variant subgroup. ALS and LMN ALS variants are multisystem degenerations. DTI shows the potential to determine an earlier diagnosis, particularly in LMN ALS variants. The statistically identical findings of white matter lesions in classical ALS and LMN variants as ascertained by DTI further underline that these variants should be regarded as part of the ALS spectrum.

  17. Evaluating stress as a challenge is associated with superior attentional control and motor skill performance: testing the predictions of the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat.

    PubMed

    Vine, Samuel J; Freeman, Paul; Moore, Lee J; Chandra-Ramanan, Roy; Wilson, Mark R

    2013-09-01

    The biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat (Blascovich, 2008) suggests that individuals who evaluate a performance situation as a challenge will perform better than those who evaluate it as a threat. However, limited research has examined (a) the influence of challenge and threat evaluations on learned motor performance under pressure and (b) the attentional processes by which this effect occurs. In the present study 52 novices performed a motor task (laparoscopic surgery), for which optimal visual attentional control has been established. Participants performed a Baseline trial (when the task was novel) and were then trained to proficiency before performing under pressurized conditions designed to increase anxiety (Pressure). At Baseline, regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between challenge/threat evaluations and the outcome variables (performance, cardiovascular response, and visual attention). At Pressure, hierarchical regression analyses (controlling for the degree of learning) were performed to examine the relationship between challenge/threat evaluations and the outcome variables. At both Baseline and Pressure tests evaluating the task as more of a challenge was associated with more effective attentional control and superior performance. In the Baseline test, evaluating the task as more of a challenge was associated with differential cardiovascular responses. Although there is some support for an attentional explanation of differential performance effects, additional analyses did not reveal mediators of the relationship between challenge/threat evaluations and motor performance. The findings have implications for the training and performance of motor skills in pressurized environments (e.g., surgery, sport, aviation).

  18. The effect of acute exercise and psychosocial stress on fine motor skills and testosterone concentration in the saliva of high school students.

    PubMed

    Wegner, Mirko; Koedijker, Johan M; Budde, Henning

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the influence of different stressors on fine motor skills, the concentration of testosterone (T), and their interaction in adolescents. Therefore, 62 high school students aged 14-15 years were randomly assigned to two experimental groups (exercise, psychosocial stress) and a control group. Exercise stress was induced at 65-75% of the maximum heart rate by running for 15 minutes (n = 24). Psychosocial stress was generated by an intelligence test (HAWIK-IV), which was uncontrollable and characterized by social-evaluative-threat to the students (n = 21). The control group followed was part of a regular school lesson with the same duration (n = 28). Saliva was collected after a normal school lesson (pre-test) as well as after the intervention/control period (post-test) and was analyzed for testosterone. Fine motor skills were assessed pre- and post-intervention using a manual dexterity test (Flower Trail) from the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2. A repeated measure ANCOVA including gender as a covariate revealed a significant group by test interaction, indicating an increase in manual dexterity only for the psychosocial stress group. Correlation analysis of all students shows that the change of testosterone from pre- to post-test was directly linked (r = -.31, p = .01) to the changes in manual dexterity performance. Participants showing high increases in testosterone from pre- to post-test made fewer mistakes in the fine motor skills task. Findings suggest that manual dexterity increases when psychosocial stress is induced and that improvement of manual dexterity performance corresponds with the increase of testosterone.

  19. Real-world particulate matter and gaseous emissions from motor vehicles in a highway tunnel.

    PubMed

    Gertler, Alan W; Gillies, John A; Pierson, William R; Rogers, C Fred; Sagebiel, John C; Abu-Allaban, Mahmoud; Coulombe, William; Tarnay, Leland; Cahill, Thomas A

    2002-01-01

    Recent studies have linked atmospheric particulate matter with human health problems. In many urban areas, mobile sources are a major source of particulate matter (PM) and the dominant source of fine particles or PM2.5 (PM smaller than 2.5 pm in aerodynamic diameter). Dynamometer studies have implicated diesel engines as being a significant source of ultrafine particles (< 0.1 microm), which may also exhibit deleterious health impacts. In addition to direct tailpipe emissions, mobile sources contribute to ambient particulate levels by brake and tire wear and by resuspension of particles from pavement. Information about particle emission rates, size distributions, and chemical composition from in-use light-duty (LD) and heavy-duty (HD) vehicles is scarce, especially under real-world operating conditions. To characterize particulate emissions from a limited set of in-use vehicles, we studied on-road emissions from vehicles operating under hot-stabilized conditions, at relatively constant speed, in the Tuscarora Mountain Tunnel along the Pennsylvania Turnpike from May 18 through 23, 1999. There were five specific aims of the study. (1) obtain chemically speciated diesel profiles for the source apportionment of diesel versus other ambient constituents in the air and to determine the chemical species present in real-world diesel emissions; (2) measure particle number and size distribution of chemically speciated particles in the atmosphere; (3) identify, by reference to data in years past, how much change has occurred in diesel exhaust particulate mass; (4) measure particulate emissions from LD gasoline vehicles to determine their contribution to the observed particle levels compared to diesels; and (5) determine changes over time in gas phase emissions by comparing our results with those of previous studies. Comparing the results of this study with our 1992 results, we found that emissions of C8 to C20 hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) from

  20. A matter of interpretation: developing primary pupils' enquiry skills using position-linked datalogging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Daniel John; Collier, Christopher; Howe, Alan

    2012-11-01

    not been sustained. While there is evidence of pupils developing a range of scientific enquiry skills through the project, the extent to which their interpretation of data improved is unclear. All participating schools made greater use of scientific data than before the project to develop their environmental education. Conclusions: The project has demonstrated the potential of combining datalogging with GPS technology to support challenging, motivating and relevant scientific enquiry. Primary teachers require targeted technical and pedagogical support to maximise learning benefits for pupils.

  1. Size-segregated particulate matter and gaseous emissions from motor vehicles in a road tunnel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alves, Célia A.; Gomes, Joana; Nunes, Teresa; Duarte, Márcio; Calvo, Ana; Custódio, Danilo; Pio, Casimiro; Karanasiou, Angeliki; Querol, Xavier

    2015-02-01

    In order to address road traffic emissions, studies need to be performed under realistic driving conditions where the input from other sources is minimised. Measurements in traffic tunnels have been used for quantifying emissions, but so far no study has established emission factors (EFs) for Southern Europe. To fill this gap, a sampling campaign was carried out for one week in the Liberdade Avenue tunnel (Braga, Portugal). The campaign included the monitoring of gaseous pollutants (CO2, CO, NOx) and suspended particulate matter (PM) at two sites, one in the tunnel and another in an urban background location. Organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) in size-segregated particles (PM0.5, PM0.5-1, PM1-2.5 and PM2.5-10) were determined by a thermal-optical system, whereas major and trace elements were analysed by ICP-MS and ICP-AES. PM0.5 accounted for 56% of the PM10 mass, while PM2.5-10 represented only 12%. The carbonaceous fraction was concentrated in PM0.5, encompassing 88% of the EC and 67% of the OC present in PM10. Elements attributable to non-exhaust emissions could be divided into two groups. Fe, Ba, Cu, Sb, Sn and Zn, from tyre and brake wear, were more abundant in particles between 1 and 2 μm. Ca, Al, K, Sr and Ti, associated with soil resuspension, were mainly present in particles > 2 μm. The average EFs of CO, CO2 and NOx were 212, 4.02 and 1.22 g veh- 1 km- 1, respectively, while values of 152 mg PM10 veh- 1 km- 1 and 133 mg PM2.5 veh- 1 km- 1 were obtained for the particles. OC and EC emission factor was 39 mg veh- 1 km- 1 for PM10. The corresponding OC and EC values for PM2.5 were 34 and 38 mg veh- 1 km- 1. The EFs are slightly lower than those found for other tunnels, but within the ranges presented by the EMEP/EEA inventory.

  2. Brain lateralisation and motor learning: selective effects of dominant and non-dominant hand practice on the early acquisition of throwing skills.

    PubMed

    Stöckel, Tino; Weigelt, Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Findings from neurosciences indicate that the two brain hemispheres are specialised for the processing of distinct movement features. How this knowledge can be useful in motor learning remains unclear. Two experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of initial practice with the dominant vs non-dominant hand on the acquisition of novel throwing skills. Within a transfer design two groups practised a novel motor task with the same amount of practice on each hand, but in opposite hand-order. In Experiment 1, participants acquired the position throw in basketball, which places high demands on throwing accuracy. Participants practising this task with their non-dominant hand first, before changing to the dominant hand, showed better skill acquisition than participants practising in opposite order. In Experiment 2 participants learned the overarm throw in team handball, which requires great throwing strength. Participants initially practising with their dominant hand benefited more from practice than participants beginning with their non-dominant hand. These results indicate that spatial accuracy tasks are learned better after initial practice with the non-dominant hand, whereas initial practice with the dominant hand is more efficient for maximum force production tasks. The effects are discussed in terms of brain lateralisation and bilateral practice schedules.

  3. Motorized mobility scooters – The use of training/intervention and technology for improving driving skills in aging adults - A Mini-Review

    PubMed Central

    Toosizadeh, Nima; Bunting, Matthew; Howe, Carol; Mohler, Jane; Sprinkle, Jonathan; Najafi, Bijan

    2014-01-01

    Background Motorized mobility scooters (MMS) have become the most acceptable powered assistive device for those with impaired mobility, who have sufficient upper body strength and dexterity, and postural stability. Although several benefits have been attributed to MMS usage, there are likewise risks of use, including injuries and even deaths. Objective The aim of the current review was to summarize results from clinical studies regarding the enhancement of MMS driver safety with a primary focus on improving driving skills/performance using clinical approaches. We addressed three main objectives: 1) to identify and summarize any available evidence (strong, moderate, or weak evidence based on the quality of studies) regarding improved driving skills/performance following training/intervention; 2) to identify types of driving skills/performance that might be improved by training/intervention; and 3) to identify the use of technology in improving MMS performance or training procedure. Methods Articles were searched for in the following medical and engineering electronic databases: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, EI Compendix, IEEE Explore, and REHABDATA. Inclusion criteria included: aging adults or those with ambulatory problems; intervention or targeted training; and clinical trial. Outcomes included: MMS skills/performance. Results Six articles met the inclusion criteria and are analyzed in this review. Four of the six articles contained training approaches for MMS drivers including skill trainings using real MMS inside and outside (i.e., in community) and in a 3D virtual environment. The other two studies contain infrastructural assessments (i.e., the minimum space required for safe maneuverability of MMS users) and additional mobility assistance tools to improve maneuverability and to enhance driving performance. Conclusions Results from the current review showed improved driving skills/performance by training

  4. Decreased dopamine receptor 1 activity and impaired motor-skill transfer in Dyt1 ΔGAG heterozygous knock-in mice

    PubMed Central

    Yokoi, Fumiaki; Dang, Mai T.; Liu, Jun; Gandre, Jason R.; Kwon, Kelly; Yuen, Robert; Li, Yuqing

    2014-01-01

    DYT1 dystonia is a movement disorder caused by a trinucleotide deletion (ΔGAG) in DYT1 (TOR1A), corresponding to a glutamic acid loss in the C-terminal region of torsinA. Functional alterations in the basal ganglia circuits have been reported in both DYT1 dystonia patients and rodent models. Dyt1 ΔGAG heterozygous knock-in (KI) mice exhibit motor deficits and decreased striatal dopamine receptor 2 (D2R) binding activity, suggesting a malfunction of the indirect pathway. However, the role of the direct pathway in pathogenesis of dystonia is not yet clear. Here, we report that Dyt1 KI mice exhibit significantly decreased striatal dopamine receptor 1 (D1R) binding activity and D1R protein levels, suggesting the alteration of the direct pathway. The decreased D1R may be caused by translational or post-translational processes since Dyt1 KI mice had normal levels of striatal D1R mRNA and a normal number of striatal neurons expressing D1R. Levels of striatal ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits, dopamine transporter, acetylcholine muscarinic M4 receptor and adenosine A2A receptor were not altered suggesting a specificity of affected polytopic membrane-associated proteins. Contribution of the direct pathway to motor-skill learning has been suggested in another pharmacological rat model injected with a D1R antagonist. In the present study, we developed a novel motor skill transfer test for mice and found deficits in Dyt1 KI mice. Further characterization of both the direct and the indirect pathways in Dyt1 KI mice will aid the development of novel therapeutic drugs. PMID:25451552

  5. High-Density Electromyography and Motor Skill Learning for Robust Long-Term Control of a 7-DoF Robot Arm.

    PubMed

    Ison, Mark; Vujaklija, Ivan; Whitsell, Bryan; Farina, Dario; Artemiadis, Panagiotis

    2016-04-01

    Myoelectric control offers a direct interface between human intent and various robotic applications through recorded muscle activity. Traditional control schemes realize this interface through direct mapping or pattern recognition techniques. The former approach provides reliable control at the expense of functionality, while the latter increases functionality at the expense of long-term reliability. An alternative approach, using concepts of motor learning, provides session-independent simultaneous control, but previously relied on consistent electrode placement over biomechanically independent muscles. This paper extends the functionality and practicality of the motor learning-based approach, using high-density electrode grids and muscle synergy-inspired decomposition to generate control inputs with reduced constraints on electrode placement. The method is demonstrated via real-time simultaneous and proportional control of a 4-DoF myoelectric interface over multiple days. Subjects showed learning trends consistent with typical motor skill learning without requiring any retraining or recalibration between sessions. Moreover, they adjusted to physical constraints of a robot arm after learning the control in a constraint-free virtual interface, demonstrating robust control as they performed precision tasks. The results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed man-machine interface as a viable alternative to conventional control schemes for myoelectric interfaces designed for long-term use.

  6. Breeder and Batch-Dependent Variability in the Acquisition and Performance of a Motor Skill in Adult Long-Evans Rats

    PubMed Central

    O’Bryan, Amber J.; Allred, Rachel P.; Maldonado, Monica A.; Cormack, Lawrence K.; Jones, Theresa A.

    2011-01-01

    Reaching tasks are popular tools for investigating the neural mechanisms of motor skill learning and recovery from brain damage in rodents, but there is considerable unexplained variability across studies using these tasks. We investigated whether breeder, batch effects, experimenter, time of year, weight and other factors contribute to differences in the acquisition and performance of a skilled reaching task, the single pellet retrieval task, in adult male Long-Evans hooded rats. First, we retrospectively analyzed task acquisition and performance in rats from different breeding colonies that were used in several studies spanning a three year period in our laboratory. Second, we compared reaching variables in age-matched rats from different breeders that were trained together as a batch by the same experimenters. All rats had received daily training on the reaching task until they reached a criterion of successful reaches per attempt. We found significant breeder-dependent differences in learning rate and final performance level. This was found even when age-matched rats from different breeders were trained together by the same experimenters. There was also significant batch-to-batch variability within rats from the same breeder trained by the same experimenter. Other factors, including weight, paw preference and the experimenter, were not as strong or consistent in their contributions to differences across studies. The breeder and batch effects found within the same rat strain may reflect genetic and environmental influences on the neural substrates of motor skill learning. This is an important consideration when comparing baseline performance across studies and for controlling variability within studies. PMID:21664381

  7. White matter volume in the brainstem and inferior parietal lobule is related to motor performance in children with autism spectrum disorder: A voxel-based morphometry study.

    PubMed

    Hanaie, Ryuzo; Mohri, Ikuko; Kagitani-Shimono, Kuriko; Tachibana, Masaya; Matsuzaki, Junko; Hirata, Ikuko; Nagatani, Fumiyo; Watanabe, Yoshiyuki; Fujita, Norihiko; Taniike, Masako

    2016-09-01

    Many studies have reported poor motor performance in autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, the underlying brain mechanisms remain unclear. Recent neuroimaging studies have suggested that abnormalities of the white matter (WM) are related to the features of ASD. In this study, we used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to investigate which WM regions correlate with motor performance in children with ASD, and whether the WM volume in those brain regions differed between children with ASD and typically developing (TD) children. The subjects included 19 children with ASD and 20 TD controls. Motor performance was assessed using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children 2 (M-ABC 2). Children with ASD showed poorer motor performance than did the controls. There was a significant positive correlation between the total test score on the M-ABC 2 and the volume of WM in the brainstem and WM adjacent to the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). In addition, compared with the TD controls, children with ASD had a decreased volume of WM in the brainstem and adjacent to the left intraparietal sulcus, which is close to the SMG. These findings suggest that structural changes in the WM in the brainstem and left inferior parietal lobule may contribute to poor motor performance in children with ASD. Autism Res 2016, 9: 981-992. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Parietofrontal motor pathways and their association with motor function after stroke.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Robert; Koch, Philipp; Zimerman, Maximo; Wessel, Maximilian; Bönstrup, Marlene; Thomalla, Götz; Cheng, Bastian; Gerloff, Christian; Hummel, Friedhelm C

    2015-07-01

    Corticocortical interactions between the primary motor cortex, the ventral premotor cortex and posterior parietal motor areas, such as the anterior and caudal intraparietal sulcus, are relevant for skilled voluntary hand function. It remains unclear to what extent these brain regions and their interactions also contribute to basic motor functions after stroke. We hypothesized that white matter integrity of the underlying parietofrontal motor pathways between these brain regions might relate to residual motor function after stroke. Twenty-five chronic stroke patients were recruited (aged 64 ± 8.8 years, range 46-75, 17 males, one left-handed) and evaluated 34 months after stroke (range 12-169 months) by means of grip force, pinch force and the Fugl-Meyer assessment of the upper extremity. Based on these measures, motor function was estimated applying a factor analysis with principal component extraction. Using diffusion tensor imaging and probabilistic tractography we reconstructed probable intrahemispheric trajectories between the primary motor cortex, the ventral premotor cortex and the anterior and caudal intraparietal sulcus in each patient. White matter integrity was estimated for each individual tract by means of fractional anisotropy. Generalized linear modelling was used to relate tract-related fractional anisotropy to the motor function. We found that the white matter integrity of the fibre tracts connecting the ventral premotor cortex and the primary motor cortex (P < 0.001) and the anterior intraparietal sulcus and the ventral premotor cortex (P < 0.01) positively correlated with motor function. The other tracts investigated did not show a similar structure-behaviour association. Providing first structural connectivity data for parietofrontal connections in chronic stroke patients, the present results indicate that both the ventral premotor cortex and the posterior parietal cortex might play a relevant role in generating basic residual motor output after

  9. Early gray-matter and white-matter concentration in infancy predict later language skills: A whole brain voxel-based morphometry study

    PubMed Central

    Can, Dilara Deniz; Richards, Todd; Kuhl, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans were obtained from 19 infants at 7 months. Expressive and receptive language performance was assessed at 12 months. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) identified brain regions where gray-matter and white-matter concentrations at 7 months correlated significantly with children’s language scores at 12 months. Early gray-matter concentration in the right cerebellum, early white-matter concentration in the right cerebellum, and early white-matter concentration in the left posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC)/cerebral peduncle were positively and strongly associated with infants’ receptive language ability at 12 months. Early gray-matter concentration in the right hippocampus was positively and strongly correlated with infants’ expressive language ability at 12 months. Our results suggest that the cerebellum, PLIC/cerebral peduncle, and the hippocampus may be associated with early language development. Potential links between these structural predictors and infants’ linguistic functions are discussed. PMID:23274797

  10. Teaching Phonetic Skills through Body Movement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Osdol, Bob M.; Geiger, Leonard J.

    A perceptual motor approach to learning phonics is presented in this teaching guide which includes a screening test and 50 learning games encompassing a wide array of phonics skills. Directionality, gross-motor skills, sensory-motor skills, and auditory and visual perceptual skills may be introduced to the children and taught during the games…

  11. Role of Broca's Area in Implicit Motor Skill Learning: Evidence from Continuous Theta-Burst Magnetic Stimulation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clerget, Emeline; Poncin, William; Fadiga, Luciano; Olivier, Etienne

    2012-01-01

    Complex actions can be regarded as a concatenation of simple motor acts, arranged according to specific rules. Because the caudal part of the Broca's region (left Brodmann's area 44, BA 44) is involved in processing hierarchically organized behaviors, we aimed to test the hypothesis that this area may also play a role in learning structured motor…

  12. Fine-Motor Skill Deficits in Childhood Predict Adulthood Tic Severity and Global Psychosocial Functioning in Tourette's Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloch, Michael H.; Sukhodolsky, Denis G.; Leckman, James F.; Schultz, Robert T.

    2006-01-01

    Background: Most children with Tourette's syndrome (TS) experience a significant decline in tic symptoms during adolescence. Currently no clinical measures have been identified that can predict whose tic symptoms will persist into adulthood. Patients with TS have deficits on neuropsychological tests involving fine-motor coordination and…

  13. The Effect of Teachers Trained in a Fundamental Movement Skills Programme on Children's Self-Perceptions and Motor Competence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breslin, Gavin; Murphy, Marie; McKee, David; Delaney, Brian; Dempster, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Perceived and actual motor competence are hypothesized to have potential links to children and young people's physical activity (PA) levels with a potential consequential link to long-term health. In this cross-sectional study, Harter's (1985, "Manual for the Self-perception Profile for Children." Denver, CO: University of Denver)…

  14. Overlapping Phenotypes in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Coordination Disorder: A Cross-Syndrome Comparison of Motor and Social Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumner, Emma; Leonard, Hayley C.; Hill, Elisabeth L.

    2016-01-01

    Motor and social difficulties are often found in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), to varying degrees. This study investigated the extent of overlap of these problems in children aged 7-10 years who had a diagnosis of either ASD or DCD, compared to typically-developing controls.…

  15. Early Gray-Matter and White-Matter Concentration in Infancy Predict Later Language Skills: A Whole Brain Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Can, Dilara Deniz; Richards, Todd; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans were obtained from 19 infants at 7 months. Expressive and receptive language performance was assessed at 12 months. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) identified brain regions where gray-matter and white-matter concentrations at 7 months correlated significantly with children's language scores at 12 months.…

  16. Structural white matter changes in descending motor tracts correlate with improvements in motor impairment after undergoing a treatment course of tDCS and physical therapy.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xin; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Motor impairment after stroke has been related to the structural and functional integrity of corticospinal tracts including multisynaptic motor fibers and tracts such as the cortico-rubral-spinal and the cortico-tegmental-spinal tract. Furthermore, studies have shown that the concurrent use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with peripheral sensorimotor activities can improve motor impairment. We examined microstructural effects of concurrent non-invasive bihemispheric stimulation and physical/occupational therapy for 10 days on the structural components of the CST as well as other descending motor tracts which will be referred to here as alternate motor fibers (aMF). In this pilot study, ten chronic patients with a uni-hemispheric stroke underwent Upper-Extremity Fugl-Meyer assessments (UE-FM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for determining diffusivity measures such as fractional anisotropy (FA) before and after treatment in a section of the CST and aMF that spanned between the lower end of the internal capsule (below each patient's lesion) and the upper pons region on the affected and unaffected hemisphere. The treated group (tDCS + PT/OT) showed significant increases in the proportional UE-FM scores (+21%; SD 10%), while no significant changes were observed in an untreated comparison group. Significant increases in FA (+0.007; SD 0.0065) were found in the ipsilesional aMF in the treated group while no significant changes were found in the contralesional aMF, in either CST, or in any tracts in the untreated group. The FA changes in the ipsilesional aMF significantly correlated with the proportional change in the UE-FM (r = 0.65; p < 0.05). The increase in FA might indicate an increase in motor fiber alignment, myelination, and overall fiber integrity. Crossed and uncrossed fibers from multiple cortical regions might be one reason why the aMF fiber system showed more plastic structural changes that correlate with motor improvements than the CST.

  17. Sensory motor and functional skills of dizygotic twins: one with Smith-Magenis syndrome and a twin control.

    PubMed

    Smith, Michaele R; Hildenbrand, Hanna; Smith, Ann C M

    2009-01-01

    Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS), the result of an interstitial deletion within chromosome 17p11.2, is a disorder that may include minor dysmorphic features, brachydactyly, short stature, hypotonia, speech delays, cognitive deficits, signs of peripheral neuropathy, scoliosis, and neurobehavioral problems including sleep disturbances and maladaptive repetitive and self-injurious behaviors. Physical and occupational therapists provide services for children who have the syndrome, whose genetic disorder is frequently not identified or diagnosed before 1 year of age. A comprehensive physical and occupational therapy evaluation was completed in nonidentical twins with one having SMS, using the Sensory Profile; Brief Assessment of Motor Function (BAMF); Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Second Edition (PDMS-2); and Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). This provides a framework for conducting assessments to enhance early detection and interdisciplinary management with this specialized population.

  18. An adolescent with intact motor skills and intelligence after infant hemorrhagic stroke without rehabilitation therapy: a case report.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shenghuo; Yan, Tiebin; Lu, Xiao

    2012-01-01

    Devastating intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke is rarely encountered in children, but it has a high mortality rate. The case of a 15-year-old boy who survived a major stroke at 40 days old is described. He showed no significant motor or intelligence impairment in adolescence until he was hospitalized for transient left had tremors and slight left hand weakness caused by a cyst. The patient's almost complete motor recovery highlights the power of neural plasticity in young patients. The pediatric stroke was huge, but this did not affect his adolescent movement or intelligence, demonstrating the great neuroplastic potential of the developing human brain. These observations may help increase our knowledge about stroke in children and improve the treatment of pediatric stroke patients.

  19. Pyramidal tract stimulation restores normal corticospinal tract connections and visuomotor skill after early postnatal motor cortex activity blockade

    PubMed Central

    Salimi, I; Friel, KM; Martin, JH

    2008-01-01

    Motor development depends on forming specific connections between the corticospinal tract (CST) and the spinal cord. Blocking CST activity in kittens during the critical period for establishing connections with spinal motor circuits results in permanent impairments in connectivity and function. The changes in connections are consistent with the hypothesis that the inactive tract is less competitive in developing spinal connections than the active tract. In this study we tested the competition hypothesis by determining if activating CST axons, after prior silencing during the critical period, abrogated development of aberrant corticospinal connections and motor impairments. In kittens, we inactivated motor cortex by muscimol infusion between postnatal weeks 5-7. We next electrically stimulated CST axons in the medullary pyramid 2.5 hours daily, between weeks 7-10. In controls (n=3), CST terminations were densest within the contralateral deeper, premotor, spinal layers. After prior inactivation (n=3), CST terminations were densest within the dorsal, somatic sensory, layers. There were more ipsilateral terminations from the active tract. During visually guided locomotion, there was a movement endpoint impairment. Stimulation after inactivation (n=6) resulted in significantly fewer terminations in the sensory layers and more in the premotor layers, and fewer ipsilateral connections from active cortex. Chronic stimulation reduced the current threshold for evoking contralateral movements by pyramidal stimulation, suggesting strengthening of connections. Importantly, stimulation significantly improved stepping accuracy. These findings show the importance of activity-dependent processes in specifying CST connections. They also provide a strategy for harnessing activity to rescue CST axons at risk of developing aberrant connections after CNS injury. PMID:18632946

  20. Pyramidal tract stimulation restores normal corticospinal tract connections and visuomotor skill after early postnatal motor cortex activity blockade.

    PubMed

    Salimi, Iran; Friel, Kathleen M; Martin, John H

    2008-07-16

    Motor development depends on forming specific connections between the corticospinal tract (CST) and the spinal cord. Blocking CST activity in kittens during the critical period for establishing connections with spinal motor circuits results in permanent impairments in connectivity and function. The changes in connections are consistent with the hypothesis that the inactive tract is less competitive in developing spinal connections than the active tract. In this study, we tested the competition hypothesis by determining whether activating CST axons, after previous silencing during the critical period, abrogated development of aberrant corticospinal connections and motor impairments. In kittens, we inactivated motor cortex by muscimol infusion between postnatal weeks 5 and 7. Next, we electrically stimulated CST axons in the medullary pyramid 2.5 h daily, between weeks 7 and 10. In controls (n = 3), CST terminations were densest within the contralateral deeper, premotor, spinal layers. After previous inactivation (n = 3), CST terminations were densest within the dorsal, somatic sensory, layers. There were more ipsilateral terminations from the active tract. During visually guided locomotion, there was a movement endpoint impairment. Stimulation after inactivation (n = 6) resulted in significantly fewer terminations in the sensory layers and more in the premotor layers, and fewer ipsilateral connections from active cortex. Chronic stimulation reduced the current threshold for evoking contralateral movements by pyramidal stimulation, suggesting strengthening of connections. Importantly, stimulation significantly improved stepping accuracy. These findings show the importance of activity-dependent processes in specifying CST connections. They also provide a strategy for harnessing activity to rescue CST axons at risk of developing aberrant connections after CNS injury.