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A. Mark Williams and Bradley Fawver

The authors review some of the most innovative and impactful developments in the field of motor behavior over the last 10–15 years, using citation reports from some of the most prominent journals in the field, as well as relying on subjective opinion from leading academic experts to identify notable contributions to knowledge generation in this broad and increasingly dynamic field of research. They delimit the scope of this task by focusing their efforts on three specific theme areas of study, notably, perceptual–cognitive expertise, motor learning, and motor control. In looking back over the last decade or so, they attempt to provide some direction by highlighting avenues for future research. Their hope is that over the next few decades these research theme areas will have even greater influence and translational impact on quality of life in many aspects of society, including sport and various clinical domains.

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Bradley Fawver, Garrett F. Beatty, Kelly M. Naugle, Chris J. Hass and Christopher M. Janelle

Emotional states influence whole-body movements during quiet standing, gait initiation, and steady state gait. A notable gap exists, however, in understanding how emotions affect postural changes during the period preceding the execution of planned whole-body movements. The impact of emotion-induced postural reactions on forthcoming posturomotor movements remains unknown. We sought to determine the influence of emotional reactions on center of pressure (COP) displacement before the initiation of forward gait. Participants (N = 23, 14 females) stood on a force plate and initiated forward gait at the offset of an emotional image (representing five discrete categories: attack, sad faces, erotica, happy faces, and neutral objects). COP displacement in the anteroposterior direction was quantified for a 2 second period during image presentation. Following picture onset, participants produced a posterior postural response to all image types. The greatest posterior displacement was occasioned in response to attack or threat stimuli compared with happy faces and erotica images. Results suggest the impact of emotional states on gait behavior begins during the motor planning period before the preparatory phase of gait initiation, and manifests in center of pressure displacement alterations.