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The Nature of Finger Enslaving: New Results and Their Implications

Valters Abolins and Mark L. Latash

We present a review on the phenomenon of unintentional finger action seen when other fingers of the hand act intentionally. This phenomenon (enslaving) has been viewed as a consequence of both peripheral (e.g., connective tissue links and multifinger muscles) and neural (e.g., projections of corticospinal pathways) factors. Recent studies have shown relatively large and fast drifts in enslaving toward higher magnitudes, which are not perceived by subjects. These and other results emphasize the defining role of neural factors in enslaving. We analyze enslaving within the framework of the theory of motor control with spatial referent coordinates. This analysis suggests that unintentional finger force changes result from drifts of referent coordinates, possibly reflecting the spread of cortical excitation.

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Watching Your Neck: The Influence of Real-Time Visual Feedback on Cervical Joint Position Sense in Chronic Neck Pain

Konstantin Beinert, Katharina Deutsch, Sebastian Löscher, and Martin Diers

Patients with neck pain demonstrate a variety of sensorimotor impairments, such as decreased cervical joint position sense (CJPS) acuity, which might also be associated with an impaired internal body representation. The present study evaluated the effect of real-time visual feedback of the individual’s own neck on CJPS compared to observing a book. Twenty-three patients with neck pain participated in the experiment and received the interventions in randomized order on separate days in a within-subject pretest–posttest design. Before and immediately after each intervention, CJPS was measured by a therapist blinded to the intervention. The results demonstrate a significantly different development of CJPS (p = .04), with increased CJPS acuity after observing one’s own neck and decreased acuity after observing a book. Real-time visual feedback of the neck improved CJPS acuity in patients with neck pain without active movements of the neck, indicating the importance of central nervous system processing for CJPS acuity.

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Development of Laterality and Bimanual Interference of Fine Motor Movements in Childhood and Adolescence

Brenda Carolina Nájera Chávez, Stefan Mark Rueckriegel, Roland Burghardt, and Pablo Hernáiz Driever

Drawing and handwriting are fine motor skills acquired during childhood. We analyzed the development of laterality by comparing the performance of the dominant with the nondominant hand and the effect of bimanual interference in kinematic hand movement parameters (speed, automation, variability, and pressure). Healthy subjects (n = 187, 6–18 years) performed drawing tasks with both hands on a digitizing tablet followed by performance in the presence of an interfering task of the nondominant hand. Age correlated positively with speed, automation, and pressure, and negatively with variability for both hands. As task complexity increased, differences between both hands were less pronounced. Playing an instrument had a positive effect on the nondominant hand. Speed and automation showed a strong association with lateralization. Bimanual interference was associated with an increase of speed and variability. Maturation of hand laterality and the extent of bimanual interference in fine motor tasks are age-dependent processes.

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Current Movement Follows Previous Nontarget Movement With Somatosensory Stimulation

Hitoshi Oda, Yasushi Sawaguchi, Hiroshi Kunimura, Taku Kawasaki, and Koichi Hiraoka

This study examined whether the current movement follows the previous movement and whether this process is enhanced by somatosensory stimulation or is gated while retrieving and using the memory of the previously practiced target end point. Healthy humans abducted the index finger to a previously practiced target (target movement) or abducted it freely without aiming at the target (nontarget movement). The end point of the nontarget movement had a positive correlation with the previous nontarget movement only when somatosensory stimulation was given during the previous movement, indicating that the current nontarget movement follows the previous nontarget movement with somatosensory stimulation. No conclusive evidence of whether this process is gated by retrieving and using the memory of the previously practiced target was found.

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Holographic Sight Improves the Static Shooting Accuracy and Vertical Sway Precision During High-Intensity Dynamic Action in the Police Task Force

Michal Vágner, Zdeněk Bílek, Karel Sýkora, Vladimír Michalička, Lubomír Přívětivý, Miloš Fiala, Adam Maszczyk, and Petr Stastny

The aim of this study was to find the effect of holographic sight (HS) on short-distance shooting accuracy and precision during static and high-intensity dynamic actions. Twenty policemen (31 ± 2.2 years, 85.6 ± 6.1 kg, and 181.9 ± 4.4 cm) performed five shots in the 10-s limit under the static condition for 20 m and dynamic condition 15–5 m, and after 4 × 10 m sprint action, both with fixed sight (FS) and HS. The analysis of variance post hoc test revealed that HSstatic had higher shouting accuracy than FSstatic, FSdynamic, and HSdynamic (p = .03, p = .0001, and p = .0001, respectively) and FSdynamic had lower precision than FSstatic, HSstatic, and HSdynamic (p = .0003, p = .0001, and p = .01, respectively) in vertical sway. The HS for rifles has improved the accuracy of static shooting and vertical sway precision of dynamic shooting.

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Kinematic Variables of Disabled Swimmers and Their Correlation With the International Paralympic Committee Classification

Karini Borges dos Santos, Paulo Cesar Barauce Bento, Carl Payton, and André Luiz Felix Rodacki

This study described the kinematic variables of disabled swimmers’ performance and correlated them with their functional classification. Twenty-one impaired swimmers (S5–S10) performed 50-m maximum front-crawl swimming while being recorded by four underwater cameras. Swimming velocity, stroke rate, stroke length, intracycle velocity variation, stroke dimensions, hand velocity, and coordination index were analyzed. Kendall rank was used to correlate stroke parameters and functional classification with p < .05. Swimming velocity, stroke length, and submerged phase were positively correlated with the para swimmers functional classification (.61, .50, and .41; p < .05, respectively), while stroke rate, velocity hand for each phase, coordination index, and intracyclic velocity variation were not (τ between −.11 and .45; p > .05). Thus, some objective kinematic variables of the impaired swimmers help to support current classification. Improving hand velocity seems to be a crucial point to be improved among disabled swimmers.

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Volume 25 (2021): Issue 3 (Jul 2021)

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Erratum: Liu et al. (2021)

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State and Trait Fatigue and Energy Predictors of Postural Control and Gait

Katie L. Kowalski, Ali Boolani, and Anita D. Christie

Compromised attentional resources during perceived fatigue has been suggested to alter motor control. The authors determined if measures of postural control and gait are predicted by state and trait physical and mental fatigue and energy, and how these relationships are modified by sex, sleep quality, and physical activity. Young adults (n = 119) completed the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration, overground walking, and questionnaires to quantify fatigue and energy, sleep quality, and physical activity. Regression models indicated that trait fatigue, trait energy, and sleep quality were predictors of postural control (p ≤ .02, R 2 ≥ .04). State fatigue, state energy, and sex were predictors of gait (p ≤ .05, R 2 ≥ .03). While the variance explained was low (3–13%), the results demonstrate perceptions of fatigue and energy may influence posture and gait.

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Reliability and Sensitivity of Reaction Time Measurements During Quasi-Realistic Soccer Situations

Lazar Tomic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Bojan Leontijevic, and Amador García-Ramos

Reliability and sensitivity of reaction time (RT) during quasi-realistic soccer situations was explored in 10 professional soccer players (skilled; age = 20.9 ± 3.6 years) and 10 males without soccer experience (nonskilled; age = 23.4 ± 0.5 years). The participants were instructed to react as fast as possible to a stimulus presented via the video-based method while standing on force platforms. RT was computed as the difference between the instant when the rate of force development of any leg reaches 5% of its maximal value and the instant of stimulus presentation. The results revealed acceptable to high reliability of RT (intraclass correlation coefficient median = .90; coefficient of variation ≤ 5.83%), and shorter RT for skilled compared with nonskilled participants in three out of eight comparisons (effect size range = 1.00–1.41). The video-based methods can be confidently used to assess the RT in soccer players.