Background Posture and Balance Assessments in Developmental Research The maturation of posture and balance is often examined by collecting center of pressure (CoP) data from research-grade force plates. The CoP time series is then used to calculate a variety of time-dependent and time
James R. Chagdes, Joshua J. Liddy, Amanda J. Arnold, Laura J. Claxton and Jeffrey M. Haddad
Loren Z.F. Chiu, Brian K. Schilling, Andrew C. Fry and Lawrence W. Weiss
Displacement-based measurement systems are becoming increasingly popular for assessment of force expression variables during resistance exercise. Typically a linear position transducer (LPT) is attached to the barbell to measure displacement and a double differentiation technique is used to determine acceleration. Force is calculated as the product of mass and acceleration. Despite the apparent utility of these devices, validity data are scarce. To determine whether LPT can accurately estimate vertical ground reaction forces, two men and four women with moderate to extensive resistance training experience performed concentric-only (CJS) and rebound (RJS) jump squats, two sessions of each type in random order. CJS or RJS were performed with 30%, 50%, and 70% one-repetition maximum parallel back squat 5 minutes following a warm-up and again after a 10-min rest. Displacement was measured via LPT and acceleration was calculated using the finite-difference technique. Force was estimated from the weight of the lifter-barbell system and propulsion force from the lifter-barbell system. Vertical ground reaction force was directly measured with a single-component force platform. Two-way random average-measure intraclass correlations (ICC) were used to assess the reliability of obtained measures and compare the measurements obtained via each method. High reliability (ICC > 0.70) was found for all CJS variables across the load-spectrum. RJS variables also had high ICC except for time parameters for early force production. All variables were significantly (p < 0.01) related between LPT and force platform methods with no indication of systematic bias. The LPT appears to be a valid method of assessing force under these experimental conditions.
Xiaogang Hu and Karl M. Newell
This study investigated the asymmetry of bilateral interference in relation to the relative difference of force amplitude between hands and the hand dominance. In Experiment 1, one hand produced a fixed constant force of 5% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) while the other hand produced different constant forces of 5%, 20%, and 50% MVC in blocked conditions. Asymmetric interference in force amplitude alone was evident in that the hand producing the fixed low force showed a stronger interference than the hand performing the higher force. Asymmetric interference in hand dominance was also found in that more interference was observed when the nondominant left hand produced the higher force, a finding that does not support the hemisphere specialization hypothesis. Experiment 2 was performed to rule out the fixed force level interpretation compared with the low force level account and the fixed force was set at 50% MVC. The results were consistent with the findings in Experiment 1 showing asymmetric interference with force amplitude rather than with fixed force level. The findings revealed that without a timing constraint the task demand associated with force amplitude alone can induce the asymmetric bilateral interference. The external task asymmetry and intrinsic asymmetry of the organism interact and influence the bimanual force coordination and control patterns.
Christopher A. Knight, Adam R. Marmon and Dhiraj H. Poojari
Subjects learned to produce brief isometric force pulses that were 10% of their maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force. Subjects became proficient at performing sets of 10 pulses within boundaries of 8–12% MVC, with visual feedback and without (kinesthetic sense). In both the control (Con, n = 10) and experimental (Exp, n = 20) groups, subjects performed two sets of 10 kinesthetically guided pulses. Subjects then either performed a 10-s MVC (Exp) or remained at rest (Con) between sets. Following the MVC, Exp subjects had force errors of +30%, whereas performance was maintained in Con. There was evidence for both muscular and neural contributions to these errors. Postactivation potentiation resulted in a 40% gain in muscle contractility (p = .003), and there was a 26% increase in the neural stimulation of muscle (p = .014). Multiple regression indicated that the change in neural input had a stronger relationship with force errors than the increased contractility.
Aisha Khan and Stacey L. Gorniak
Previous studies of fine motor control have focused on the ability of participants to match their grip force production to a visually provided template. We investigated differences exhibited in pinch force control during variable force production templates, including sine-, sawtooth-, and square-wave templates. Our results indicate that increased force requirements are associated with increased error rates and a noisier frequency spectrum, consistent with previous studies. Our results also indicate that visual feedback, in the form of template shape, directly affect pinch force production features and motor unit firing patterns, despite the use of consistent baseline force requirements, amplitude changes, and visual signal frequency. This suggests that CNS modulation of motor unit responses can be triggered by basic changes in visual feedback unrelated to force requirements. The potential implications of error compensation based on this study due to aging are also discussed.
Nobuyuki Inui and Yumi Katsura
We conducted an experiment to examine age-related differences in the control of force and timing in a finger-tapping sequence with an attenuated-force tap. Participants between 7 and 20 years old tapped on a load cell with feedback on practice trials. They were required to recall the force pattern (300 g, 300 g, 300 g, 100 g) and the intertap interval (400 ms) without feedback on test trials. Analysis indicated that the last attenuated tap affected the first three taps of the tapping sequence in adults and adolescents but not in children. Adults and adolescents appeared to respond with four taps as a chunk, resulting in a contextual effect on the timing of force control, but younger children had difficulty with such chunking. Further, adults and adolescents were able to more accurately produce individual force magnitudes to match target magnitudes than younger children. For the ratio of force in serial positions 1:4, 2:4, and 3:4, consequently, 7- to 8-year-old children had lower ratios than the other age groups. Although there was no difference among age groups for timing control of peak force to press duration as a control strategy of force, 7- to 8-year-old children spent more time to produce force than the other age groups. Peak force with a decreased force was more variable in the attenuated force serial position (4) than in the other serial positions in all five age groups. Peak force variability was particularly robust in younger children. These findings suggest that younger children have difficulty with both temporal and spatial (i.e., magnitude) components of force control.
Sarah M. Coppola, Philippe C. Dixon, Boyi Hu, Michael Y.C. Lin and Jack T. Dennerlein
comparing external tablet keyboard attachments with the no-travel, on-screen keyboards have demonstrated better performance with attached keyboard use. 2 , 3 However, the effects of these new short-travel key designs on upper-extremity muscle activity and typing force are unknown. Keyboard design
Toshimasa Yanai, Akifumi Matsuo, Akira Maeda, Hiroki Nakamoto, Mirai Mizutani, Hiroaki Kanehisa and Tetsuo Fukunaga
leg at landing through ball release, 1 , 3 and increased elbow valgus load. 1 , 2 , 4 These observations suggest that the pitching technique used in baseball is a form of throwing uniquely adapted to the height and slope of the mound. Being the only source of external force that could translate the
Ramón Marcote-Pequeño, Amador García-Ramos, Víctor Cuadrado-Peñafiel, Jorge M. González-Hernández, Miguel Ángel Gómez and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes
linear sprint). Jump height and sprint time are the 2 performance variables most commonly used to evaluate vertical jump and linear sprint capabilities, respectively. 10 , 11 However, a new testing methodology based on the force–velocity (FV) relationship has recently emerged with the expectation of
Stacey L. DeJong, Rebecca L. Birkenmeier and Catherine E. Lang
In animal models, hundreds of repetitions of upper extremity (UE) task practice promote neural adaptation and functional gain. Recently, we demonstrated improved UE function following a similar intervention for people after stroke. In this secondary analysis, computerized measures of UE task performance were used to identify movement parameters that changed as function improved. Ten people with chronic poststroke hemiparesis participated in high-repetition UE task-specific training 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Before and after training, we assessed UE function with the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and evaluated motor performance using computerized motion capture during a reach-grasp-transport-release task. Movement parameters included the duration of each movement phase, trunk excursion, peak aperture, aperture path ratio, and peak grip force. Group results showed an improvement in ARAT scores (p = .003). Although each individual changed significantly on at least one movement parameter, across the group there were no changes in any movement parameter that reached or approached significance. Changes on the ARAT were not closely related to changes in movement parameters. Since aspects of motor performance that contribute to functional change vary across individuals, an individualized approach to upper extremity motion analysis appears warranted.