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Louisa D. Raisbeck and Jed A. Diekfuss

Performance benefits exist for an external focus of attention compared with an internal focus of attention for performance and learning (Wulf, 2013). It is unknown, however, if varying the number of verbal cues affects learning and performance. Focus of attention and the number of verbal cues were manipulated during a simulated handgun-shooting task. For the internal focus conditions, participants were told to focus on their hand, arm, and wrist, whereas the external focus instructions were to focus on the gun, gun barrel, and gun stock. To manipulate the number of verbal cues, participants received instruction to focus on a single verbal cue or multiple verbal cues. Shooting performance was assessed at baseline, acquisition, and at two separate retention phases (immediate, delayed) that included transfer tests. Participants completed the NASA—Task Load Index to assess workload following all trials. Participants who received one verbal cue performed significantly better during immediate retention than those who received three verbal cues. Participants who used external focus of attention instructions had higher performance and reported less workload at delayed retention compared to those who used internal focus instructions. This research provides further support for the benefits of an external focus and highlights the importance of minimizing the number of verbal cues.

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Julián Gandía, Xavier García-Massó, Adrián Marco-Ahulló and Isaac Estevan

including terminal-augmented feedback in PE curricula ( Sattelmayer, Elsig, Hilfiker & Baer, 2016 ). During PE lessons, verbal cues used by PE teachers when teaching motor skills seems to be useful for guiding students to attend to the critical elements of skill execution and highlighting the most common

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Kimberly Somers, Dustin Aune, Anthony Horten, James Kim and Julia Rogers

intervention, verbal cueing was employed as needed to facilitate proper positioning and performance of both FR and DD techniques. A flowchart outlining the study design is represented in Figure  4 . Figure 2 Starting position of the FR technique. Foam roll is positioned at the popliteal fossa of the right leg

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Denis Brunt

The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of an apraxic condition in children with meningomyelocele. Subjects were grouped according to the presence or absence of hydrocephalus as diagnosed by a computerized tomography scan. Subjects performed tasks of simple movements and motor sequences first to verbal command and then to imitation. For simple movements there was a significant Group by Cue interaction. The hydrocephalic group, significantly inferior on the verbal cue, were noticeably better on imitation. For those subjects without hydrocephalus, such was unlikely due to a ceiling effect to the verbal cue. For motor sequences, there was a significant Cue and Group effect. Both groups improved to the visual cue with the nonhydrocephalus group being consistently superior. The results are discussed in terms of patterns of response, and a cognitive or brainstem/cerebellar-based disorder.

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Timothy N. Welsh and Digby Elliott

Previous research has indicated that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have difficulties processing auditory movement information relative to their peers with undifferentiated developmental disabilities. The present study was conducted to assess whether a model of atypical cerebral specialization could explain these findings. Thirteen adults with Down syndrome (8 men, 5 women), 14 adults with undifferentiated developmental disabilities (7 men, 7 women), and 14 adults without disabilities (8 men, 6 women) performed rapid aiming movements to targets under three conditions: a visual cue at the target location, a visual cue remote from the target location, or a verbal cue. Results revealed that, while the reaction times did not differ between the two groups with disabilities across conditions, the participants with DS, unlike their peers, had significantly longer movement times in the verbal than in two visual conditions. These results are consistent with the model of biological dissociation.

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Cheryl Glazebrook, Digby Elliott, James Lyons and Luc Tremblay

This study investigated inhibition of return in persons with and without Down syndrome (DS) when visual or verbal cues were used to specify a target in a crossmodal paradigm. Individuals with DS and without DS performed manual aiming movements to a target located in right or left hemispace. The target was specified by an endogenous visual or verbal stimulus. Both groups were significantly slower when responding to the same target as the previous trial when the target was cued in a different modality. Although participants with DS initiated and executed their movements more slowly, they demonstrated a similar pattern of inhibition as people without DS, suggesting that inhibitory processes are functioning normally in persons with DS.

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Digby Elliott, Susan Gray and Daniel J. Weeks

The present study was designed to determine whether the verbal-motor performance deficits sometimes exhibited by Down syndrome persons interfere with their capacity to acquire a novel motor task. Mentally handicapped adults with and without Down syndrome, as well as nonhandicapped adults, practiced a verbally cued three-element movement sequence. When the verbal cue was terminated during retention, Down syndrome subjects made no more errors and performed the motor sequence just as rapidly as did the other mentally handicapped adults. However, Down syndrome subjects took longer to organize and initiate their movements. Both mentally handicapped groups performed more poorly than nonhandicapped subjects. The results provide partial support for the notion that Down syndrome persons have difficulty organizing limb movements on the basis of verbal instruction.

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Jo-Anne C. Lazarus

A modified version of Fog’s clip-pinching task developed by Todor and Lazarus (1986) was used to assess associated movement or motor overflow in children with and without learning disabilities (LD). Children with LD as a group displayed greater overflow at all levels of active limb force than their age-equivalent nondisabled peers. Children with LD who also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were variable in their ability to consciously inhibit overflow while children with LD without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were able to override overflow given verbal cues to do so. Results indicate that children with LD, as a group, tend to be more affected by the force output requirement of this task due to other factors such as attention and inhibition that differ in degree from nondisabled age-matched control subjects, or at least that persist for a longer period of time in development. The degree to which the regulation of attention interacts with the regulation of force differs for the two subgroups of children with LD, those with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Gordon A. Bloom, Rebecca Crumpton and Jenise E. Anderson

A systematic observation analysis was performed on Fresno State men’s basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian over the course of an entire season. Based on Tharp and Gallimore’s (1976) work and recent research on expert coaches’ training techniques (Côté et al., 1995; Durand-Bush, 1996), the Revised Coaching Behavior Recording Form was created to observe and record Tarkanian’s teaching behaviors and verbal cues. Results showed that tactical instructions was the most frequently occurring variable, representing 29% of the coded behaviors. This behavior was 13% higher than the second highest variable, hustles (16%). Following these two categories were technical instruction (13.9%), praise\encouragement (13.6%), general instructions (12%), scolds (6%), and six other categories with percentages less than 3%. This means that almost one-third of Coach Tarkanian’s practice behaviors relate to teaching offensive and defensive strategies to his team. This differs from the practice sessions of beginner- and intermediate-level coaches, who often focus on teaching fundamental skills to their athletes. A complete description of all 12 categories are provided along with implications for coaches of all levels.

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Takashi Nagai, Nicholas C. Clark, John P. Abt, Timothy C. Sell, Nicholas R. Heebner, Brian W. Smalley, Michael D. Wirt and Scott M. Lephart


The cervical spine can be divided into upper and lower units, each making a different contribution to the magnitude of rotation and proprioception. However, few studies have examined the effect of the cervical-rotation positions on proprioception.


To compare cervical-spine rotation active joint-position sense (AJPS) near midrange of motion (mid-ROM; 30°) and near end-ROM (60°).


Cross-sectional study.


Human performance research laboratory.


53 military helicopter pilots (age 28.4 ± 6.2 y, height 175.3 ± 9.3 cm, weight 80.1 ± 11.8 kg).

Main Outcome Measures:

A motion-analysis system was used to record cervical-rotation kinematics. Subjects sat in a chair wearing a headband and blindfold. First, they actively rotated the head right or left to a target position (30°/60°), with real-time verbal cues provided by the tester. Subjects held the target position for 5 s and then returned to the start position. After this, they replicated the target position as closely as possible. Five trials were performed in both directions to both target positions (R30/R60/L30/L60). Order of direction/position was randomized. The difference between target and replicated positions was calculated and defined as absolute error (AE), and the mean of 5 trials was used for analyses. Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests were used to compare AJPS at the different target positions (P < .0125 with Bonferroni adjustments).


End-ROM AEs were significantly more accurate than mid-ROM AEs (P = .001).


Cervical-spine-rotation AJPS is more accurate near end-ROM than mid-ROM. Both target positions should be used to examine cervical-spine-rotation AJPS of both the upper and lower units.