The Development of Period Correction Processes in Motor Coordination: Adaptation to Temporal Perturbation

in Motor Control
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The third in a series of studies investigating the development of multilimb coordination in children, this study investigates the ability to period correct, or resynchronize limbs after a temporal perturbation. Participants performed single (clap, walk) and dual (simultaneously clap and walk) motor tasks to a metronome, which was randomly perturbed (either increase or decrease in speed). In the walk/metronome coupling, a significant interaction existed in relative phase error between age group and cycle with less relative phase error on the third and forth cycle with increased age. In the clap/metronome, a main effect existed for cycle (increasing with cycle) and age (decreasing with age), but no interactions existed. Neither task (single or dual) nor direction of perturbation (speed increase/decrease) had a statistical effect. The results suggested that developmental trajectories may exist in period correction processes; further research examining continuous data over longer collection periods should be performed to confirm this finding.

Clizbe and Getchell are with the University of Delaware—Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, Newark, Delaware.

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