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John Hargreaves

This paper attempts to explain the relationship between socialism and sport in Britain using a historical and comparative analysis of developments in Europe to identify the particular sociopolitical conditions and processes pertaining in the British case. It argues that a distinctively socialist sports culture failed to develop in Britain due to the interaction between two sets of forces: the powerful economic, political, and cultural constraints that are characteristic of Britain’s development, and the character of British socialism’s response to those constraints. It pinpoints the ways in which features specific to British socialism disabled socialists from adequately grasping the significance of sport in popular culture, from responding effectively to the way class, sex and gender, and national identities are formed in sporting activity, and from influencing processes of conflict and accommodation taking place around sport between dominant and subordinate groups.

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Priscila Abbári Rossi Manciopi, Natalia Madalena Rinaldi and Renato Moraes

Low back pain (LBP) can affect performance in the combined task (CT) of gait and prehension, since it increases muscle activity amplitude during voluntary movements, impairs the anticipatory postural adjustments and reduces gait speed. We analyzed and compared the effect of adding the prehension movement toward a dowel located at three different heights (80, 100 and 120% of the lower limb length) on gait of individuals with and without LBP. The CT caused anticipatory adjustments, showing that gait changes started during the approach phase and continued on the step corresponding to grasping, especially for the lowest dowel height. Furthermore, individuals with LBP reduced walking speed, increased the width of the base of support, increased electromyography activity of low back trunk muscles, and increased the margin of dynamic stability compared with control group. These results suggest that individuals with LBP used a strategy to reduce threat to body stability due to addition of the manual task.

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Loes Janssen, Céline Crajé, Matthias Weigelt and Bert Steenbergen

We examined anticipatory motor planning and the interaction among both hands in a discrete bimanual task. To this end, participants had to grasp and manipulate two cylindrical objects simultaneously under varying conditions in which (a) the grip selection requirements, i.e., orientation of the to-be-grasped objects, differed between the two hands and (b) the type of grip for one hand was preinstructed, while the grip for the other hand was free choice. Results showed that participants, when grasping for two bars with a free grip choice, prioritized planning for comfortable end postures over symmetry of movement execution. Furthermore, when participants were free to choose a grip for their left hand, but were instructed on how to grasp an object with their right hand, we found no interaction between the grip selections of both hands, suggesting that motor planning proceeds independently for both hands.

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Carsten Eggers, Ulrike Grüner, Mitra Ameli, Anna-Sophia Sarfeld and Dennis A. Nowak

This study investigated whether a period of low frequency rTMS preconditioned by tDCS over the primary motor cortex modulates control of grip force in Parkinson’s disease. The presented results are from the same patient cohort tested in an earlier study (Gruner et al. J Neural Transm 2010: 117: 207–216). 15 patients with Parkinson’s disease (mean age: 69 ±8 years; average disease duration: 5 ±3 years) on dopaminergic drugs performed a grasp-lift task with either hand before (baseline) and after a period of 1Hz rTMS (90% of the resting motor threshold; 900 pulses) preconditioned by sham, anodal or cathodal tDCS (1mA, 10 min) over the primary motor cortex. We found that compared with baseline, none of the grip force parameters was significantly influenced by either stimulation session and concluded that grasping is a higher order motor skill, which cannot be modulated by tDCS preconditioned 1Hz rTMS in PD.

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Christoph Schütz, Matthias Weigelt, Dennis Odekerken, Timo Klein-Soetebier and Thomas Schack

Previous studies on sequential effects of human grasping behavior were restricted to binary grasp type selection. We asked whether two established motor control strategies, the end-state comfort effect and the hysteresis effect, would hold for sequential motor tasks with continuous solutions. To this end, participants were tested in a sequential (predictable) and a randomized (nonpredictable) perceptual-motor task, which offered a continuous range of posture solutions for each movement trial. Both the end-state comfort effect and the hysteresis effect were reproduced under predictable, continuous conditions, but only the end-state comfort effect was present under nonpredictable conditions. Experimental results further revealed a work range restriction effect, which was reproduced for the dominant and the nondominant hand.

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Stacy M. Lopresti-Goodman, Michael J. Richardson, Reuben M. Baron, Claudia Carello and Kerry L. Marsh

The actualization of a simple affordance task—grasping and moving wooden planks of different sizes using either one or two hands—was assessed in the context of taskrelevant (plank sequence, plank presentation speed) and task-irrelevant (cognitive load) manipulations. In Experiment 1, fast (3 s/plank) and self-paced (≈5 s/plank) presentation speeds revealed hysteresis; the transition point for ascending series was greater than the transition point for descending series. Hysteresis was eliminated in the slowest presentation speed (10 s/plank). In Experiment 2, hysteresis was exaggerated by a cognitive load (counting backward by seven) for both fast and slow presentation speeds. These results suggest that behavioral responses to the attractor dynamics of perceived affordances are processes that require minimal cognitive resources.

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Research Themes in Movement Disorders Research Bert Steenbergen * Wouter Hulstijn * 4 2001 5 2 95 98 10.1123/mcj.5.2.95 Planning Reaching and Grasping Movements: Theoretical Premises and Practical Implications David A. Rosenbaum * Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek * Jonathan Vaughan * 4 2001 5 2 99

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Rangasamy Suresh Babu, P. Anand, Mathew Jeraud, P. Periasamy and A. Namasivayam

Experimental studies concerning the analysis of locomotor behavior in spinal cord injury research are widely performed in rodent models. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the degree of functional recovery in reflex components and bipedal locomotor behavior of bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) after spinal contusive injury. Six monkeys were tested for various reflex components (grasping, righting, hopping, extension withdrawal) and were trained preoperatively to walk in bipedal fashion on the simple and complex locomotor runways (narrow beam, grid, inclined plane, treadmill) of this investigation. The overall performance of the animals’ motor behavior and the functional status of limb movements during bipedal locomotion were graded by the Combined Behavioral Score (CBS) system. Using the simple Allen weight-drop technique, a contusive injury was produced by dropping a 13-g weight from a height of 30 cm to the exposed spinal cord at the T12-L1 vertebral level of the trained monkeys. All the monkeys showed significant impairments in every reflex activity and in walking behavior during the early part of the postoperative period. In subsequent periods, the animals displayed mild alterations in certain reflex responses, such as grasping, extension withdrawal, and placing reflexes, which persisted through a 1-year follow-up. The contused animals traversed locomotor runways—narrow beam, incline plane, and grid runways—with more steps and few errors, as evaluated with the CBS system. Eventually, the behavioral performance of all spinal-contused monkeys recovered to near-preoperative level by the fifth postoperative month. The findings of this study reveal the recovery time course of various reflex components and bipedal locomotor behavior of spinal-contused macaques on runways for a postoperative period of up to 1 year. Our spinal cord research in primates is advantageous in understanding the characteristics of hind limb functions only, which possibly mimic the human motor behavior. This study may be also useful in detecting the beneficial effect of various donor tissue–neuroprotective drugs on the repair of impaired functions in a bipedal primate model of spinal injury.

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Georgios T. Angelakopoulos, Haralambos Tsorbatzoudis and George Grouios

In many dynamic interceptive actions performers need to integrate activity of manual and postural subsystems for successful performance. Groups of different skill level (poor and good catchers), (mean age = 9.1 and 9.4 respectively) were required to perform one-handed catches under different postural constraints: standing; standing in contact with a postural support aid by their side (PSAS) or to the left of their trunk (PSAF); Tandem; and sitting (control). Results revealed that, for poor catchers, the number of successful catches increased and grasp errors decreased significantly when sitting and with both postural aids in comparison with standing alone and Tandem conditions. Kinematic analyses showed that the postural aid devices reduced head sway in the anterior-posterior direction, while the PSAF reduced lateral head sway. The poor catchers’ performance benefited from an enlarged support surface, and reduction of lateral sway. Good catchers performed successfully under all task constraints, signifying the existence of a functional relationship between postural and grasping subsystems during performance. The results are discussed in the frame of Bernstein’s (1967) and Newell’s (1986) theory.

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Amirhossein K. Vafadar, Julie N. Côté and Philippe S. Archambault

The purpose of this study was to estimate the extent to which muscle fatigue can impact on the position sense in the upper limb. Twelve healthy volunteers were asked to do a reaching task while grasping a wooden block and match the block’s position with a corresponding target displayed on a flat screen, without vision. Following that, subjects performed resistive exercises with Thera-band strips until fatigue was induced and then the position sense task was repeated. A significant change in the endpoint position was observed after fatigue, in the up/down direction (p ≤ .001). The variability of endpoint positions in up/down direction was also significantly increased after fatigue (p ≤.03). There was no significant change in endpoint orientation but there was a significant fatigue × orientation effect on endpoint rotational variability. In a follow-up experiment, a group of subjects repeated the same protocol, but with a period of quiet rest between the two position sense tasks. In that group, there were no differences in endpoint position, orientation or variability. Muscle fatigue is an important factor that should be taken into consideration during the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries as well as athletic training.