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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

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Quantifying Human Gait Symmetry During Blindfolded Treadmill Walking

Otella Shoja, Masoumeh Shojaei, Hamidollah Hassanlouei, Farzad Towhidkhah, and Lei Zhang

Bilateral gait symmetry is an essential requirement for normal walking since asymmetric gait patterns increase the risk of falls and injuries. While human gait control heavily relies on the contribution of sensory inputs, the role of sensory systems in producing symmetric gait has remained unclear. This study evaluated the influence of vision as a dominant sensory system on symmetric gait production. Ten healthy adults performed treadmill walking with and without vision. Twenty-two gait parameters including ground reaction forces, joint range of motion, and other spatial–temporal gait variables were evaluated to quantify gait symmetry and compared between both visual conditions. Visual block caused increased asymmetry in most parameters of ground reaction force, however mainly in the vertical direction. When vision was blocked, symmetry of the ankle and knee joint range of motion decreased, but this change did not occur in the hip joint. Stance and swing time symmetry decreased during no-vision walking while no significant difference was found for step length symmetry between the two conditions. This study provides a comprehensive analysis to reveal how the visual system influences bilateral gait symmetry and highlights the important role of vision in gait control. This approach could be applied to investigate how vision alters gait symmetry in patients with disorders to help better understand the role of vision in pathological gaits.

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In Remembrance: The Life and Legacy of Michael T. Turvey (1942–2023)

Michael A. Riley and Dagmar Sternad

Michael T. Turvey passed away on August 12, 2023 at the age of 81. This obituary aims to honor his life and career by highlighting some key events in his personal and professional life, noting some of his many remarkable accomplishments, and emphasizing his exceptional mentorship, friendship, and generosity.

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The Role of Imitation, Primitives, and Spatial Referent Coordinates in Motor Control: Implications for Writing and Reading

Shelia Guberman and Mark L. Latash

We review a body of literature related to the drawing and recognition of geometrical two-dimensional linear drawings including letters. Handwritten letters are viewed not as two-dimensional geometrical objects but as one-dimensional trajectories of the tip of the implement. Handwritten letters are viewed as composed of a small set of kinematic primitives. Recognition of objects is mediated by processes of their creation (actual or imagined)—the imitation principle, a particular example of action–perception coupling. The concept of spatial directional field guiding the trajectories is introduced and linked to neuronal population vectors. Further, we link the kinematic description to the theory of control with spatial referent coordinates. This framework allows interpreting a number of experimental observations and clinical cases of agnosia. It also allows formulating predictions for new experimental studies of writing.

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The Impact of Athletic Identity, Psychological Flexibility, and Value Consistent Living on the Mental Health and Well-Being of Retired Elite Rugby Players

Jacqueline Mooney, Andrew Bethell, Chris Wagstaff, and Ross White

Retirement from sport is widely accepted as an important period of change for athletes. Existing studies have focused on investigating the mental health and well-being of current players, while limited research has explored the impact of retirement on elite rugby players. The present study aimed to examine how athletic identity, psychological flexibility, and valued living impact subjective well-being and psychological distress in retired elite rugby players. A cross-sectional, between-subject, factorial design was adopted. Seventy-seven retired elite rugby players were recruited to the Tackling Next Steps project and completed an online survey between March 2021 and December 2021. Suboptimal levels of subjective well-being were reported by 64% of retired players, and 43% reported clinical levels of distress. Valued living and psychological flexibility were shown to significantly predict subjective well-being. The results show that promoting psychological flexibility and valued living may have positive effects on subjective well-being in retired rugby players.

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Self-Reported Depression in Collegiate Athletes: The Effect of Privacy on Symptom Disclosure

Chloe M. Ouellet-Pizer, Sebastian Harenberg, Justine Vosloo, and Barbara B. Meyer

Prevalence studies on depressive symptoms in collegiate athletes have yielded varied estimations, which may be due, in part, to survey administration privacy. However, the influence of survey administration privacy (i.e., anonymous and confidential) on depressive symptom disclosure remains unknown in sport. The purposes of the current study, therefore, were twofold: (a) compare depressive symptoms reported under high- and low-privacy conditions and (b) examine factors associated with underreporting (i.e., social desirability). College athletes (N = 123) were randomly assigned to high- and low-privacy conditions. Results indicated no significant difference, F(1, 120) = 0.59, p = .446, between the prevalence of depressive symptoms reported across conditions when controlling for sex, and no significant correlation between depressive symptoms and social desirability (r = −.01, p = .886). Taken together, results indicated that survey administration privacy did not impact depressive symptom disclosure in the current sample.

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Investigating Patterns of Donor and Recipient Sports of Talent Transfer Paralympians

Adeline Green, Rory Mulcahy, David Fleischman, Luke MacDonald, and Bridie Kean

Talent transfer has enabled elite athletes to be successful in another sport, with great potential in para-sport. Previous research suggests that similarities between donor and recipient sports may facilitate talent transfer; however, this remains unclear in para-sport. This study investigated patterns between donor and recipient sports’ characteristics, identifying the impact on talent transfer in para-sport. An Australian case study utilizing secondary data of 38 Australian Paralympians who competed at the Paralympic Games from 2000 through 2020 was analyzed. Results demonstrated that similarities between sports were not significantly associated with successful talent transfers between Paralympic sports. Understanding patterns associated with successful Paralympic talent transfers offers a foundation of knowledge for designing and developing future talent-transfer pathways and research. Based on this study, it is recommended that sport administrators and practitioners explore greater opportunity for talent transfer in para-sport, rather than limiting talent-transfer opportunities based on athletes’ donor sports.

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Variability Analysis in Judo Para Athletes With Visual Impairments: Match-Outcome Performance in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games With Evidence From the New Classification System

Rafael Lima Kons, Danilo França Conceição dos Santos, Raiane Carvalho, Adriano Ferreira da Silva, João Paulo Lopes-Silva, Emerson Franchini, and Daniele Detanico

Match-related performance analysis in judo Para athletes with visual impairments is important to coaches and staff to identify technical–tactical profiles of their athletes and opponents but also to identify whether there are similar characteristics in each visual class. Thus, this study explores the match-related performance in judo Para athletes and verifies the relationship between performance using the old and new classification systems. The match-derived variables were analyzed using different statistical methods considering a total of 182 matches from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The results indicated that performance was affected by sex and degree of impairment. The new classification system seems suitable for grouping Para judo athletes, as it differentiates performance between the two proposed classes (J1 and J2), since athletes from each group compete separately. Furthermore, different variability index measures were correlated with competitive performance, demonstrating a specific performance profile for each sport class in judo.

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Disability and Motor Behavior: A Handbook of Research

Martin E. Block

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Volume 40 (2024): Issue 1 (Feb 2024)