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It has been argued that the central nervous system relies on combining simple movement elements (i.e. motor primitives) to generate complex motor outputs. However, how movement elements are generated and combined during the acquisition of new motor skills is still a source of debate. Herein, we present results providing new insights into the role of movement elements in the acquisition of motor skills that we obtained by analyzing kinematic data collected while healthy subjects learned a new motor task. The task consisted of playing an interactive game using a platform with embedded sensors whose aggregate output was used to control a virtual object in the game. Subjects learned the task over multiple blocks. The analysis of the kinematic data was carried out using a recently developed technique referred to as "movement element decomposition". The technique entails the decomposition of complex multi-dimensional movements in one-dimensional elements marked by a bell-shaped velocity profile. We computed the number of movement elements during each block and measured how closely they matched a theoretical velocity profile derived by minimizing a cost function accounting for the smoothness of movement and the cost of time. The results showed that, in the early stage of motor skill acquisition, two mechanisms underlie the improvement in motor performance: 1) a decrease in the number of movement elements composing the motor output and 2) a gradual change in the movement elements that resulted in a shape matching the velocity profile derived by using the above-mentioned theoretical model.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The European journal of neuroscience
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A mechanism of communicating one's own sensory system information about a task, movement, skill, etc.
The capability to perform the duties of one's profession generally, or to perform a particular professional task, with skill of an acceptable quality.
The observation and analysis of movements in a task with an emphasis on the amount of time required to perform the task.
The functional superiority and preferential use of one eye over the other. The term is usually applied to superiority in sighting (VISUAL PERCEPTION) or motor task but not difference in VISUAL ACUITY or dysfunction of one of the eyes. Ocular dominance can be modified by visual input and NEUROTROPHIC FACTORS.
Procedures and programs that facilitate the development or skill acquisition in infants and young children who have disabilities, who are at risk for developing disabilities, or who are gifted. It includes programs that are designed to prevent handicapping conditions in infants and young children and family-centered programs designed to affect the functioning of infants and children with special needs. (From Journal of Early Intervention, Editorial, 1989, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 3; A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, prepared for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, 1976)
Mergers & Acquisitions
Commercial and market reports on mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and life-science industries. Mergers and acquisitions (abbreviated M&A;) is an aspect of corporate strategy, corporate finance and manageme...