A pointing task was performed both while subjects stood beside and while subjects walked past targets that involved differing movement amplitudes and differing sizes. The hand kinematics were considered relative both to a fixed frame of reference in the movement environment (end effector kinematics) and to the subject's body (kinematics of the hand alone). From the former view, there were few differences between standing and walking versions of the task, indicating similarity of the kinematics of the hand. However, when the hand was considered alone, marked differences in the kinematics and spatial trajectories between standing and walking were achieved. Furthermore, kinematic analyses of the trunk showed that subjects used differing amounts of both flexion-extension and rotation movements at the waist depending on whether they were standing or walking as well as on the constraints imposed by target width and movement amplitude. The present results demonstrate the existence of motor equivalence in a combined upper and lower extremity task and that this motor equivalence is a control strategy to cope with increasing task demands. Given the complexity involved in controlling the arm, the torso, and the legs (during locomotion), the movements involved in the present tasks appear to be planned and controlled by considering the whole body as a single unit.
Ronald G. Marteniuk, Chris J. Ivens, and Christopher P. Bertram
Alison B. Pritchard Orr, Kathy Keiver, Chris P. Bertram, and Sterling Clarren
Physical activity (PA) has been demonstrated to have positive effects on cognitive function, particularly executive function (EF) skills. Animal models suggest PA may be effective in ameliorating some of the neuropsychological effects of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), but this approach has not been extended to humans. The purpose of this study was to develop a PA program, FAST Club, for children with FASD and to evaluate its effect on a measure of EF. Using a wait-list control design, 30 children age 7–14 yr participated in FAST Club for 2 × 1.5-hr sessions/week for 8 weeks. EF was assessed using the Children’s Color Trails Test. Significant improvements in T scores on the Children’s Color Trails Test were seen immediately postprogram, and this improvement was sustained at 3 months postprogram. These findings provide evidence to support the use of PA as a means to improve EF in children with FASD.