The authors reflect on the dire state of motor learning at the time of Brooks’s book and consider reasons why research was resurrected in the 1980s and flourished in the ensuing years. In so doing, they provide an overview of the various research topics that have been studied, discuss the influence of motor learning on other fields of study, and consider the future of motor learning research both within and outside the academic study of kinesiology.
Timothy D. Lee and Heather Carnahan
Hannah E. Wyatt, Gillian Weir, Carl Jewell, Richard E.A. van Emmerik, and Joseph Hamill
Coordination variability (CV) is commonly analyzed to understand dynamical qualities of human locomotion. The purpose of this study was to develop guidelines for the number of trials required to inform the calculation of a stable mean lower limb CV during overground locomotion. Three-dimensional lower limb kinematics were captured for 10 recreational runners performing 20 trials each of preferred and fixed speed walking and running. Stance phase CV was calculated for 9 segment and joint couplings using a modified vector coding technique. The number of trials required to achieve a CV mean within 10% of 20 strides average was determined for each coupling and individual. The statistical outputs of mode (walking vs running) and speed (preferred vs fixed) were compared when informed by differing numbers of trials. A minimum of 11 trials were required for stable mean stance phase CV. With fewer than 11 trials, CV was underestimated and led to an oversight of significant differences between mode and speed. Future overground locomotion CV research in healthy populations using a vector coding approach should use 11 trials as a standard minimum. Researchers should be aware of the notable consequences of an insufficient number of trials for overall study findings.
Kyle B. Kosik, Kathryn Lucas, Matthew C. Hoch, Jacob T. Hartzell, Katherine A. Bain, and Phillip A. Gribble
Studies have demonstrated that individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) have diminished dynamic stability. Jerk-based measures have been utilized to examine dynamic balance because of their ability to quantify changes in acceleration and may provide an understanding of the postural corrections that occur during stabilizing following a jumping task. The purpose of this study was to compare acceleration and jerk following a jump stabilization task between individuals with CAI and the uninjured controls. Thirty-nine participants volunteered to participate in this case control study. Participants completed a jump stabilization task requiring them to jump off 2 feet, touch a marker set at 50% of their maximal vertical jump height, land on a single limb, and maintain balance for 3 seconds. Acceleration was calculated as the second derivative, and jerk was calculated as the third derivative of the displacement of the resultant vector position. Participants with CAI had greater acceleration (mean difference = 55.6 cm/s2; 95% confidence interval, 10.3 to 100.90; P = .017) and jerk compared with the uninjured controls (mean difference = 1804.5 cm/s3; 95% confidence interval, 98.7 to 3510.3; P = .039). These results suggest that individuals with CAI made faster and more frequent active postural control corrections to regain balance following a jump compared with the uninjured controls.
Sari Aaltonen, Teemu Palviainen, Richard J. Rose, Urho M. Kujala, Jaakko Kaprio, and Karri Silventoinen
Background: Both genetic and environmental influences have been shown to contribute to the association between physical activity and overall academic performance. The authors examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) shares genetic and environmental variances between spelling, essay writing, reading aloud, reading comprehension, and mathematics in early adolescence. Moreover, they investigated whether genetic polymorphisms associated with physical activity behavior affect these academic skills. Methods: Participants were 12-year-old Finnish twins (n = 4356–4370 twins/academic skill, 49% girls). Academic skills were assessed by teachers, and LTPA was self-reported. Polygenic scores for physical activity behavior were constructed from the UK Biobank. Quantitative genetic modeling and linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: The trait correlations between LTPA and academic skills were significant but weak (r = .05–.08). The highest trait correlation was found between LTPA and mathematics. A significant genetic correlation was revealed between LTPA and essay writing (r A = .14). Regarding polygenic scores of physical activity, the highest correlations were found with reading comprehension, spelling, and essay writing, but these results only approached statistical significance (P values = .09–.15). Conclusions: The authors’ results suggest that reading and writing are the academic skills that most likely share a common genetic background with LTPA.
Melissa A. Jones, Kara Whitaker, McKenzie Wallace, and Bethany Barone Gibbs
Background: Sedentary behavior (SED) and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) have important implications for health; however, little is known about predictors of these behaviors during pregnancy. Methods: This cohort study measured SED (activPAL) and MVPA (GT3X) in each trimester of pregnancy. Univariate associations of demographic, socioeconomic, and pregnancy health-related factors with SED or MVPA were calculated. Associations with P < .10 were included in stepwise linear regression models to determine independent predictors in each trimester. Results: Pregnant women (n = 127) were age 31.0 (4.9) years and 78% white. In regression models across trimesters, fewer children ≤ age 5 in the household (P < .04) and primarily sitting job activity (P < .008) were related to higher SED and use of assisted reproductive technology (P < .05) was associated with higher MVPA. In at least one trimester, younger age was related to higher SED (P = .014); no history of pregnancy loss (P < .04), being married (P = .003), employed (P < .004, full time or student), white race (P = .006), and higher education (P = .010) were associated with higher MVPA. Conclusions: Predictors of SED in pregnancy were more consistent, and differed from predictors of MVPA. These findings may help identify women at risk of high SED or low MVPA, though future research in larger samples is needed.
Huda Al Siyabi, Ruth M. Mabry, Amal Al Siyabi, Moosa Al Subhi, and Karen Milton
Barbara Resnick, Marie Boltz, Elizabeth Galik, and Shijun Zhu
The purpose of this study was to test the impact of function-focused care on adverse outcomes in assisted living. This was a randomized trial including 85 settings. The age of the 794 recruited participants was 89.48 (SD = 7.43) years, the majority was female (n = 561, 71%) and White (n = 771, 97%). The percentage of residents in the treatment group experiencing a fall decreased at 12 months from 26% to 20% and the control group increased from 24% to 25%, p = .02. A greater percentage of residents in the treatment group transferred to nursing facilities at 4 months (4–1% in control vs. 4–5% in treatment, p = .02) and 12 months (4–2% in control and 4–7% in treatment, p = .01). There was no treatment effect on emergency room or hospital transfers. The findings support the safety of function-focused care related to falls and need for hospital transfers.
Joshua Gold and Joseph Ciorciari
Effective anticipation skills in sporting cognition have been shown to facilitate expertise in sports. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has shown to improve motor and cognitive functioning. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the assistive effects of tDCS on the action observer network in both novice and expert gamers during an occlusion task, as well as the related electroencephalographic spectral power response. Twenty-three novice and 23 expert video gamers received either sham or active tDCS with a right parietal anode and left frontal cathode. Only experts demonstrated a significant improvement in predicting ball direction for the overall and early occlusions after tDCS. Spectral power results revealed significant changes in theta, high-gamma, and delta frequencies. The findings indicate that tDCS was able to modulate anticipatory behavior and cortical activity in experts compared with novice participants, suggesting a facilitatory role for tDCS to improve anticipatory effects and assist as a neurocognitive training technique.
Background: Although hair has been found to be a barrier to physical activity (PA) among adult black women, the research exploring this phenomenon among black adolescent girls is deficient. This presents a concern because physical inactivity can lead to obesity and a host of comorbidities. This qualitative study explores hair experiences of black adolescent girls and how they maintain their cultural hair practices in hopes of promoting PA among this at-risk population. Methods: Focus groups were conducted for 37 black adolescent girls attending a public high school in Newark, New Jersey. Results: The participants reported increasing hair knowledge via social media, sociocultural influences of family and culture, and the driving force of their peer group, a concept identified in the focus groups as Hair IQ (intelligence quotient). Hair IQ helped the participants learn how to maintain their hair practices before and after PA. These factors combined to develop a framework described as the “Mane”taining model. Conclusions: The findings suggest the “Mane”taining model may provide pathways for engaging in PA for this population and serve as an example for adult black women who face similar barriers to PA.
Christine W. St. Laurent, Sarah Burkart, Chloe Andre, and Rebecca M.C. Spencer
Background: Early childhood is an important age for brain and cognitive development. Given the support of physical activity and fitness on cognition and academic performance in older children, more research has emerged recently focusing on younger children. In this systematic review, the authors review the relations between physical activity/fitness and academic-related (ie, school readiness and cognitive) outcomes in early childhood. Methods: A search was conducted from PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, ERIC databases, and reference lists for articles that had participants aged less than 6 years were written in English, and were in peer-reviewed journals. Articles were excluded if the design was a case study or case series report. The Grading Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation framework was followed to assess the quality of evidence by study design. Results: Sixty-eight articles reporting on 72 studies (29 observational and 43 experimental) were included. The majority of study effects were mixed, and the quality of evidence varied from very low to low. Conclusions: A clear consensus about the role of physical activity and fitness on academic-related outcomes in early childhood is still lacking given the high heterogeneity in methodological approaches and overall effects. Additional high-quality studies are needed to determine what specific dosages of physical activity are impactful at this age.