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Maninderjit Kaur, Timothy Gifford, Kerry L. Marsh and Anjana Bhat

Background:

Coordination develops gradually over development with younger children showing more unstable coordination patterns compared to older children and adults. In addition, children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) display significant coordination impairments. In the current study, we examined whether robot–child interactions could improve bilateral coordination skills of typically developing (TD) children and one child with ASD.

Method:

Fourteen TD children between four and seven years of age and an 11-year-old child with ASD performed dual-limb and multilimb actions within a solo and social context during a pre- and posttest. Between the pre- and posttests, eight training sessions were offered across four weeks during a robot imitation context involving karate and dance actions.

Results:

Younger TD children and the child with ASD improved their solo coordination whereas the older TD children increased their social coordination.

Limitations:

This preliminary study lacked a control group.

Conclusions:

Robot–child interactions may facilitate bilateral coordination and could be a promising intervention tool for children with ASDs.

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Yoav Gimmon, Hisham Rashad, Ilan Kurz, Meir Plotnik, Raziel Riemer, Ronen Debi, Amir Shapiro and Itshak Melzer

between the aging groups and young participants. We used a dynamic approach where the gait velocity is controlled by treadmill across different walking speeds ( Barak Wagenaar, & Holt, 2006 ; Wagenaar & Beek, 1992 ), comparing age-related differences in gait asymmetry (GA) and phase coordination index

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Sandra Silva-Santos, Amanda Santos, Michael Duncan, Susana Vale and Jorge Mota

traditional development levels of movement skills: early movement milestones, fundamental movement skills, and specialized movement skills. The sixth level is related to functional movement skills and specialized movement skills. Thus, gross motor coordination is a specific aspect of general motor competence

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Scott W. Ducharme and Richard E.A. van Emmerik

related to aging and disease. In the second section, we provide an overview of past and current research on coordination dynamics that demonstrates the functional role of variability in human locomotion. Next, the major section of this paper addresses the concept of fractals that has provided new insights

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Wen-Hao Hsu, Daniel Miranda, Diana Young, Kelly Cakert, Mona Qureshi and Eugene Goldfield

We conducted a longitudinal kinematic study of spontaneous arm and leg motions in 4 supine infants at 3, 4½, and 6 months of age. The study addressed two questions: (a) whether there was a longitudinal change in the synchronization of joint rotations at the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows, indicating that the arms and legs were moving more independently of each other; and (b) whether, during this period, the spatial location of the hands relative to the shoulders was different from that of the feet relative to the hips, indicating that the infants were beginning to use their upper limbs differently than their lower limbs. We found that, in general, the arms and legs were moving more independently of each other by 6 months of age. At the same time, the infants were more likely to hold their hands away from the body in preparation for making contact with an object in the midline, but they brought their feet close to the body to maximize propulsive kicks. Thus, a reorganization of the relative timing of joint rotations appears to be related to the emergence of different arm and leg functions.

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Ben Serrien, Maggy Goossens and Jean-Pierre Baeyens

Performing a volleyball spike movement requires a great amount of coordination between the different degrees of freedom (DOF) throughout the entire chain of motion in a specific sequence. In the shoulder alone, a complex sequence of muscle activity is observed during the windup, cocking

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Daniela Corbetta, Rebecca F. Wiener, Sabrina L. Thurman and Emalie McMahon

process of mind formation and have been argued to play an important role in the formation of infants’ behaviors ( Corbetta, 2009 ; Smith & Gasser, 2005 ; Thelen, 2000 ). We discuss the implications of this embodied view for the development of eye-hand coordination in infancy. The Origins of the

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Jongseong An, Gabriele Wulf and Seonjin Kim

We examined the effects of attentional focus instructions on the learning of movement form and carry distance in low-skilled golfers. The X-factor describes the rotation of the shoulders relative to the pelvis, and its increase during the downswing (so-called X-factor stretch) is associated with the carry distance of the ball. X-factor stretch and carry distance have been shown to be associated with an early weight shift toward the front leg during the downswing. In our study, one group (internal focus, IF) was instructed to focus on shifting their weight to their left foot while hitting the ball, whereas another group (external focus, EF) was instructed to focus on pushing against the left side of the ground. A control (C) group was not given attentional focus instructions. Participants performed 100 practice trials. Learning was assessed after a 3-day interval in a retention test without focus instructions. The EF group demonstrated a greater carry distance, X-factor stretch, and higher maximum angular velocities of the pelvis, shoulder, and wrist than both the IF and C groups, which showed very similar performances. These findings demonstrate that both movement outcome and form can be enhanced in complex skill learning by providing the learner with an appropriate external focus instruction. Moreover, they show that a single external focus cue can be sufficient to elicit an effective whole-body coordination pattern.

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Meltem Dizdar, Jale Fatma Irdesel, Oguzhan Sıtkı Dizdar and Mine Topsaç

general strength, and improving postural stability), walking, and particularly balance and coordination exercises are crucial in the prevention of falls ( Cambell et al., 1997 ; Covinsky et al., 2001 ). A large proportion of trials which seek to establish the specific effect of exercise on fall rates

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Richard E.A. van Emmerik, Stephanie L. Jones, Michael A. Busa and Jennifer L. Baird

Postural instability, falls, and fear of falling that accompany frailty with aging and disease form major impediments to physical activity. In this article we present a theoretical framework that may help researchers and practitioners in the development and delivery of intervention programs aimed at reducing falls and improving postural stability and locomotion in older individuals and in those with disability due to disease. Based on a review of the dynamical and complex systems perspectives of movement coordination and control, we show that 1) central to developing a movement-based intervention program aimed at fall reduction and prevention is the notion that variability can play a functional role and facilitate movement adaptability, 2) intervention programs aimed at fall reduction should focus more on coordination and stability boundary measures instead of traditional gait and posture outcome variables, and 3) noise-based intervention techniques using stochastic resonance may offer external aids to improve dynamic balance control.