Does practicing a wide range of joint angle configurations lead to higher flexibility in a manual obstacle-avoidance target-pointing task?

Inge Tuitert*, Reinoud J Bootsma, Marina M Schoemaker, Egbert Otten, Leonora J Mouton, Raoul M Bongers

*Corresponding author voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
268 Downloads (Pure)

Samenvatting

Flexibility in motor actions can be defined as variability in the use of degrees of freedom (e.g., joint angles in the arm) over repetitions while keeping performance (e.g., fingertip position) stabilized. We examined whether flexibility can be increased through enlarging the joint angle range during practice in a manual obstacle-avoidance target-pointing task. To establish differences in flexibility we partitioned the variability in joint angles over repetitions in variability within (GEV) and variability outside the solution space (NGEV). More GEV than NGEV reflects flexibility; when the ratio of the GEV and NGEV is higher, flexibility is higher. The pretest and posttest consisted of 30 repetitions of manual pointing to a target while moving over a 10 cm high obstacle. To enlarge the joint angle range during practice participants performed 600 target-pointing movements while moving over obstacles of different heights (5-9 cm, 11-15 cm). The results indicated that practicing movements over obstacles of different heights led participants to use enlarged range of joint angles compared to the range of joint angles used in movements over the 10 cm obstacle in the pretest. However, for each individual obstacle neither joint angle variance nor flexibility were higher during practice. We also did not find more flexibility after practice. In the posttest, joint angle variance was in fact smaller than before practice, primarily in GEV. The potential influences of learning effects and the task used that could underlie the results obtained are discussed. We conclude that with this specific type of practice in this specific task, enlarging the range of joint angles does not lead to more flexibility.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummere0181041
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Volume12
Nummer van het tijdschrift7
DOI's
StatusPublished - 10-jul.-2017

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