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Introduction to Motor Learning and Control Chapter 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Motor Learning and Control Chapter 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Motor Learning and Control Chapter 1

2 How do people acquire motor skills? Motor learning is the study of the processes people go through as they acquire and refine motor skills. One must also consider the variables that promote or inhibit the acquisition of these skills. What variables might promote or inhibit acquisition?

3 Once acquired, what is motor control? Motor control is the neural, physical, and behavioral aspects of human movement – Does the brain integrate all sensory messages? – Does arousal influence performance? – Why do we sometimes forget how to do something? – Why do we know how to do something even when we haven’t done it in a long time?

4 How do people move? Movement is the function of the interaction of three elements: – The learner – The task – The environment

5 Foundational knowledge Learner – Do they possess underlying abilities to perform? – Is the task developmentally appropriate? – Were there previous similar experiences? – Are they motivated? – Might individual differences influence acquisition of this task?

6 Foundational Knowledge Task – Is there a high perceptual component to the task? – Is object manipulation required? – What body movements are required? – Must the task be performed under a variety of conditions or under the same condition each time?

7 Foundational Knowledge Environment – In what context will the task be performed? – Is that context predictable or unpredictable? – Is there a time limitation? When assessing performance and making instructional decisions, you must remember that none of these elements exists in isolation

8 What is learning? Learning is a relatively permanent change in a person’s ability to execute a motor skill as a result of practice or experience doing the skill – We can’t see learning because the internal processes can’t be directly observed – So how does a facilitator of learning know if the client/athlete/student learned?

9 Role of performance in learning While we can’t see learning, we can see performance – Performance is the execution of a skill Through repeated observations of a person’s performance, we infer whether a person has learned a skill – Inferences must be based on changes that occur over time

10 Inferences must be accurate If a person is anxious, tired, experiencing equipment problems, does impaired performance mean a loss of capability to do the skill? Could a person be ‘ON’ one day during practice, and then revert back to previous levels of ability the next time out?

11 Practical Application Nondominant hand juggling Two tennis balls in nondominant hand Toss upward and when reaches peak, toss second tennis ball; catch first, then toss, catch second then toss Continue this pattern for 10 minutes Record the highest number of successful catches you make

12 Questions Can you conclude that you learned how to juggle two tennis balls with your non-dominant hand? Why?/ Why not? If up until the 9 minute mark you only caught the ball twice, then you suddenly caught 6, does that mean you learned how to juggle? Why? / Why not? What is learning? What learner, task and environmental factors affected your performance and learning? – Answers to these questions due on Friday

13 Motor Skill Goal-oriented Body and limb movements required to accomplish goal Voluntary Must be learned or re-learned

14 Which are motor skills? Grasping a bottled water Keyboarding Drawing back after touching a hot iron Sewing a button Playing the drums The startle reflex

15 Ways to classify motor skills Identify skill characteristics that are similar Divide into two categories, which represent extreme ends of a continuum One dimensional systems – Size of primary musculature required; precision of movement – Nature of movement organization; Specificity of where actions begin or end – Predictability/ Stability of the environment

16 Precision of Movement Fine motor skill – Involving very precise movements normally accomplished using smaller musculature Gross motor skill – Places less emphasis on precision and is typically the result of multi-limb movements

17 Precision of Movement FineGross

18 Nature of Movement Organization Discrete – Beginning and end points are clearly defined Serial – Composed of a number of discrete skills whose integrated performance is crucial for goal achievement Continuous – Beginning and ending points are arbitrary

19 Predictability of the Environment ClosedOpen

20 Open/closed classification system Closed skill – Environmental context is stable & predictable (does not change from trial to trial) – Consistency is the objective – Technique refinement is emphasized Open skill – Performer must adapt performance to the ever changing environment – Practice should emphasize responding to the changing demands

21 Classify the following motor skills Walking a tightrope Mowing the lawn Downhill skiing Swimming in a pool Playing a video game Typing Crossing the street CLOSED………………….TO……………….OPEN Predictable Semi-Predictable Unpredictable

22 Gentile’s Multidimensional Classification System Environmental demands – Regulatory conditions Environmental factors that specify the movement characteristics necessary to successfully perform a skill 1.Is the environmental context stable or in motion? 1.Swimming in an empty pool lane vs. playing water polo 2.From trial to trial, do the regulatory conditions remain fixed or do they change? 1.Does a pitched ball come in high and inside, then low and away? Or down the middle with a pitching machine?

23 Gentile’s Multidimensional Classification System Action requirements 1.Is the performer required to change locations or maintain body position when performing the skill? 2.Does the task require the performer to manipulate an object or opponent or not?

24 Task Examples for Gentile’s Multidimensional System

25 How to apply this classification system When you know the level of complexity of a skill, you can design learning experiences that build from simple to more complex Ultimately, you lead to practice conditions that simulate the conditions under which the skill will be performed

26 Practical Application Determine a progression of learning experiences from simple to more complex within your area of study.

27 Because each learner is unique, not all instructional strategies are effective for all learners

28 Individual Differences Individual differences are relatively stable and enduring characteristics that make each of us unique Examples: – Body configuration – Physiological make-up – Learning styles – Type and amount of previous movement experience – Developmental level – Cultural background – Psychological make-up

29 Abilities Genetic traits that are prerequisite to the development of skill proficiency Existence of a single, general motor ability? – Can a person be born an ‘all around athlete’? Specificity hypothesis? – Do we develop specific abilities rather than all around abilities? Research does not support a single, general motor ability

30 Fleishman’s Taxonomy Groups motor abilities into two categories of fundamental abilities: 1.Perceptual motor abilities 2.Physical proficiency abilities These abilities are stable and genetically determined

31 Perceptual Motor Abilities Control precision Multi-limb coordination Response orientation Reaction time Speed of limb movement Rate control Manual dexterity Finger dexterity Arm-hand steadiness Wrist finger speed Aiming

32 Physical Proficiency Abilities Static strength Dynamic strength Explosive strength Trunk strength Extent flexibility Dynamic flexibility Gross body coordination Gross body equilibrium Stamina

33 Thinking about your abilities List three movement activities for which you feel particularly skilled. What abilities do you think you possess that allow you to perform these skills so well? Are any of these abilities important to the performance of more than one of the tasks listed? – See abilities on pp. 13 & 14

34 Motor Abilities People tend to perform motor tasks well according to their motor abilities – Abilities limit the ultimate level of performance proficiency of an individual For example, body type will influence the ability to become an elite sprinter or a sprinter ‘wanna be’ However, avoid making final judgement on a person in early stages of practice. As experience and practice increase, performers may become more successful at using their underlying abilities to become more skilled

35 What should practitioners remember about abilities? We should expect to see differences in patterns of abilities We should identify patterns before providing instructional assistance – One tennis player may demonstrate more consistent contact with ball while another player may cover the court better Abilities of player one? Abilities of player two?

36 What should practitioners remember about abilities? Create practice opportunities that challenge the person to work on those aspects of performance for which their abilities are not well suited – The challenge will come when the performer must work on their weakness, when they would rather work on things they do well

37 What should practitioners remember about abilities? Abilities are not the only contributing factor – Previous experiences – Body configuration – Personal characteristics Performance success will most likely result from a combination of factors: abilities, age, experience, practice, motivation, mood

38 A way to use abilities in motor performance Task analysis approach to determine which movement components to emphasize during instruction

39 Task Analysis The breaking down of a skill into its component parts and corresponding underlying abilities Through task analysis, we can understand skill requirements better – Then we can identify a learner’s strengths and weaknesses and modify instruction to help them acquire the skill

40 Task Analysis Example

41 Practical Application For a skill of your choice, perform a task analysis to determine the critical elements of the task and the underlying abilities required for proficient performance – How would you use this information to design learning experiences?

42 Summary on abilities People differ in their abilities Research supports fundamental abilities – There exists a number of independent fundamental abilities – Different combinations of these abilities underly motor performance – Some abilities play dominant roles in task performance while others are secondary – Some abilities may be important for a number of different tasks

43 Putting it all together Practitioners can: – Perform a task analysis to determine the requirements of a task Then identify the important abilities necessary to meet the requirements – Design learning experiences to capitalize on strengths and practice activities to work on their weaknesses Look at progression of skills according to the skill classification systems for appropriate difficulty

44 Practical Application A frequent challenge is finding ways to assist people who must compensate for deficiencies in their abilities when they are learning or relearning a skill. What factors might be considered to assist each of the following? – A 10 year old who consistently misses a pitched ball – A 60 year old with paralysis of the preferred hand caused by stroke who is trying to relearn the task of opening a bottle of wine – A 30 year old with a loss of vision in one eye who is trying to learn how to play a musical keyboard

45 Exit Slip What is the relationship between learning and performance? Briefly summarize each classification system. What role do motor abilities play in individual performance? What factors should practitioners be aware of when trying to predict someone’s future performance success?


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