Motor Learning & Control

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1

Performance

The act of executing a skill

2

Skill

A term used to describe the quality of a performance.

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Skillful

Implies that a high degree of proficiency.

4

The term motor skill describes an act or task that satisfies four criteria:

1. It is goal oriented, meaning it is performed in order to achieve some objective.

2. Body and/or limb movements are required to accomplish the goal.

3. Those movements are voluntary. Reflexive actions do not meet this criteria.

4. Motor skills are developed as a result of practice. A skill must be learned or relearned.

5

Fine motor skill

Skills involving very precise movements, which are accomplished using smaller musculature.

6

Gross motor skill

Utilizes larger muscles, places less emphasis on precision, and is typically a result of multi-limb movements.

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Fine versus gross motor skills

Based on the precision of movement and the corresponding size of the musculature required for their successful performance. Based on a continuum.

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Children tend to develop ____ proficiency before they develop control over ______

gross motor skill proficiency, fine motor skills

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Discrete skill

one whose beginning and end points are clearly defined.

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Continuous skill

Typically repetitive and continuous in nature; those whose beginning and ending points are either arbitrary or determined by some environmental factor (finish line) rather than by the task itself.

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Serial skills

collective sequences of multiple discrete skills whose integrated performance as a serial skill is crucial for goal achievement.

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Closed skills

Skills performed in stable, predictable environments. With closed skills, the performer controls the performance situation, because the object being acted on or the context in which the skill is being performed does not change.

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Open skills

Open skills are at the other end of the continuum, as they are performed in an unpredictable, ever-changing environment. In open skills, the performer will not be aware of what movement type is required until moments before making it

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Open versus closed skills

Determined by the predictability of the environment in which the skill is performed. Based on a continuum.

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Discrete versus continuous versus serial skills

Determined based on the nature of their organization.

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Multidimensional Classification System

(1) the context in which they are performed (regulatory conditions) and (2) the action requirements of the skills. Combined, these two dimensions pro- vide insight into the processes involved in skill acquisition.

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Regulatory Conditions

For any given skill, therefore, a number of environmental factors exist that specify the movement characteristics necessary for successful perfor- mance. These factors are known as regulatory conditions, and their determination may be used to differentiate skills.

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Intertrial variability

do the regulatory conditions remain fixed or change with each performance attempt?

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Action Requirements

the action requirements of a skill, specifically with respect to body movement and object manipulation. In this context, body movement refers to whether the performer must change locations when performing the skill. A second determinant of action requirements is object manipulation. Some skills require the performer to manipulate objects or opponents.

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Application of multi-dimensional classification system

1. Are the regulatory conditions stationary or in motion?
2. Do the regulatory conditions remain fixed (no inter-trial variability), or do they change (inter-trial variability) with each performance attempt?
3. Is the performer required to change locations or maintain body position when performing the task?
4. Does the task require the performer to manipulate an object or opponent?

21

Individual differences

Each person’s uniqueness is a function of relatively stable and enduring character- istics known as individual differences. Because of individual differences, teaching strategies will not be equally effective for all learners, and practitioners must identi- fy the best strategies to employ based on diverse learner needs and qualities.

22

Motor Abilities

Abilities are genetic traits that are prerequisite for skilled performance. Accordingly, the degree to which learners could potentially develop proficiency in a particular motor skill depends on whether they possess the necessary under- lying abilities.

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Specificity Hypothesis

Challenging the existence of a general motor ability, the specificity hypothesis proposed that, while individuals may inherit a large number of motor abilities, those abilities are independent of one another.

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Single General Motor Ability Hypothesis

Behind this notion was the observation that accomplished athletes often picked up new skills quickly and excelled at numerous other skills without much practice. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to surmise that there ex- isted a high correlation between one’s level of general ability and one’s potential for skill proficiency at a variety of tasks.

25

Which theory is correct?

In general, researchers have found low correlations between an individual’s performances of two different tasks (including those that appeared to be closely related), which supported the specificity hypothesis.

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Fleishman's taxonomy of motor abilities

Fleishman’s taxonomy groups motor abilities in two categories: (1) perceptual motor abilities and (2) physical proficiency abilities,

27

Control Precision

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability for highly controlled movement adjustments, especially those involving larger muscle groups

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Rate Control

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to make continuous speed and direction adjustments with precision when tracking

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Manual dexterity

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to control manipulations of large objects using arms and hands.

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Finger dexterity

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to control manipulations of small objects primarily through use of fingers

31

Arm-hand steadiness

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to make precise arm–hand positioning movements where involvement of strength and speed are minimal

32

Wrist-finger speed

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to move the wrist and fingers rapidly

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Aiming

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to direct hand movements quickly and accurately at a small object in space

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Multi-limb coordination

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to coordinate numerous limb movements simultaneously

35

Response Orientation

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to select a response rapidly from a number of alternatives, as in choice reaction time situations

36

Reaction time

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to initiate a rapid response to an unexpected stimulus

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Speed of limb movement

Perceptual Motor Ability; Ability to make gross rapid limb movement without regard for reaction time

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Static Strength

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Ability to generate maximum force against a weighty external object

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Dynamic Strength

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Muscular endurance or ability to exert force repeatedly.

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Explosive Strength

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Muscular power or ability to create maximum effort by combining force and velocity

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Trunk Strength

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Dynamic strength of trunk muscles

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Extent Flexibility

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Ability to move trunk and back muscles through large range of motion.

43

Dynamic Flexibility

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Ability to make repeated, rapid flexing movements.

44

Gross body coordination

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Ability to coordinate numerous movements simultaneously while the body is in motion

45

Gross Body Equillibrium

Physical Proficiency Abilities; Ability to maintain balance without visual cues.

46

Stamina

Cardiovascular endurance or ability to sustain effort.


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