Freezing Degrees of Freedom During Motor Learning: A Systematic Review

in Motor Control
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According to Bernstein, the central nervous system solution to the human body’s enormous variation in movement choice and control when directing movement—the problem of degrees of freedom (DF)—is to freeze the number of possibilities at the beginning of motor learning. However, different strategies of freezing DF are observed in literature, and the means of selection of the control strategy during learning is not totally clear. This review investigated the possible effects of the class and objectives of the skill practiced on DF control strategies. The results of this review suggest that freezing or releasing the DF at the beginning of learning does not depend on the class (e.g., discrete skill class: football kick, dart throwing; continuous skill class: athletic march, handwriting) or objective of the skill (e.g., balance, velocity, and accuracy), in isolation. However, an interaction between these two skill elements seems to exist and influences the selection of the DF control strategy.

Guimarães, Dascal, Porto, and Okazaki are with the Departamento de Educação Física, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Paraná, Brazil. Ugrinowitsch is with the Escola de Educação Física, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Guimarães (guimaraes188@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.
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