In adult performers, research suggests that mental representations (MRs) mediate performance of skilled movement. During adolescence, cortical brain areas responsible for generating MRs develop rapidly along with limb size, which, together, may affect movement and movement representations. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between adolescent MRs and free-throw shooting expertise. Using structural dimensional analysis of MRs, skilled (n = 11) and less skilled (n = 11) participants sorted free-throw submovements according to their relatedness in movement execution. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical cluster analysis, factor analysis, and invariance test to examine between-group cluster comparisons. Cluster solutions for the skilled and less skilled participants were significantly variant (λ = 0.56). This method of measuring MRs distinguished expertise-related differences in MRs in an adolescent population. Findings may influence methods in which practitioners detect motor-planning faults, track development, and provide feedback to trainees.
Aaron England, Timothy Brusseau, Ryan Burns, Dirk Koester, Maria Newton, Matthew Thiese and Benjamin Chase
L. Kristi Sayers, Jo E. Cowden, Maria Newton, Barbara Warren and Bobby Eason
The purpose of this study was to describe the developmental stepping movements of 5 infants with Down syndrome who participated in a pediatric strength intervention. Pretest and posttest data were collected with the Hawaii Early Learning Profile Strands, Battelle Developmental Inventory, and specially designed gait analysis. An 8-week individualized pediatric strength intervention was implemented according to theoretical principles of progressive interactive facilitation (Cowden, in press). Posttest data and the Snyder-McLean (1987) intervention developmental quotient suggested an increase in the subjects’ rates of motor development during intervention as compared to their lifetime rates prior to intervention. One subject showed increased rate and distance, 2 subjects acquired independent upright locomotion, and 1 subject established independent sitting movements and creeping patterns. One subject was unable to complete the study.