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Nicholas Stanger, Ryan Chettle, Jessica Whittle and Jamie Poolton

). However, research has neglected to examine how emotions experienced before and during performance are linked with specific internal thought disruptions (i.e., cognitive interference) or to test for amenable moderators of such relationships. Such research would guide sport practitioners (e.g., coaches

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Markus Janczyk and Wilfried Kunde

According to the Perception-Action-Model (PAM), the human visual cortex consists of the ventral vision-for-perception and the dorsal vision-for-action streams. Performance decrements with increasing variation of nominally task-irrelevant stimulus features (Garner-Interference) was suggested as an empirical tool for identifying contributions of these streams: vision-for-perception, but not visionfor-action, should suffer from Garner-Interference, but inconsistencies in this argument were revealed by several studies. We here used a new manipulation to induce Garner-Interference in a dorsal task: The stimulus objects did not differ in their lengths but in the side to which they were weighted. In Experiment 1, Garner-Interference was found in a ventral perceptual judgment task. Notably, we did also find Garner-Interference in skilled right-handed grasping in Experiment 2. These findings suggest that the presence or absence of Garner-Interference does not consistently index the contribution of different processing streams for perception and action, but the coprocessing of nominally task-irrelevant stimulus features in general, be it for perception of action.

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Dana Maslovat, Romeo Chua, Timothy D. Lee and Ian M. Franks

This experiment examined contextual interference in producing a bimanual coordination pattern of 90° relative phase. Acquisition, retention, and transfer performance were compared in a single-task control group and groups that performed 2 tasks in either a blocked or random presentation. Surprisingly, acquisition data revealed that both the random and control groups outperformed the blocked group. Retention data showed a typical CI effect for performance variability, with the random group outperforming the blocked group. Neither the random nor blocked groups outperformed the control group, suggesting interference of a second task may be as beneficial to learning as extra practice on the initial task. No group effects were found during transfer performance. Results suggest that random practice is beneficial for learning only one task.

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Julien Robineau, Mathieu Lacome, Julien Piscione, Xavier Bigard and Nicolas Babault

Purpose:

To assess the impact of 2 high-intensity interval-training (HIT) programs (short interval vs sprint interval training) on muscle strength and aerobic performances in a concurrent training program in amateur rugby sevens players.

Methods:

Thirty-six amateur rugby sevens players were randomly assigned to strength and short interval training (INT), strength and sprint interval training (SIT), or a strength-only training group (CON) during an 8-wk period. Maximal strength and power tests, aerobic measurements (peak oxygen uptake [VO2peak] and maximal aerobic velocity), and a specific repeated-sprint ability (RSA) test were conducted before and immediately after the overall training period.

Results:

From magnitude-based inference and effect size (ES ± 90% confidence limit) analyses, the current study revealed substantial gains in maximal strength and jump-height performance in all groups. The difference in change of slow concentric torque production was greater in CON than in SIT (0.65 ± 0.72, moderate). VO2peak and, consequently, mean performance in the RSA test were improved in the SIT group only (0.64 ± 0.29, moderate; –0.54 ± 0.35, moderate).

Conclusions:

The study did not emphasize interference on strength development after INT but showed a slight impairment of slow concentric torque production gains after SIT. Compared with INT, SIT would appear to be more effective to develop VO2peak and RSA but could induce lower muscle-strength gains, especially at low velocity.

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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.

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Erik Lundkvist, Henrik Gustafsson, Paul Davis and Peter Hassmén

The aims of this study were to (a) examine the associations between workaholism and work-related exhaustion and (b) examine associations between work–home/ home–work interference and work-related exhaustion in 261 Swedish coaches. Quantile regression showed that workaholism is only associated with exhaustion for coaches who score high on exhaustion, that negative work–home interference has a stronger association with exhaustion than negative home–work interference, and that the coaches on a mean level scored low on all measured constructs. In addition, coaches in the higher percentiles have a higher risk for burnout. Our results highlight the importance of studying coach exhaustion with respect to aspects that extend beyond the sports life.

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Veerle Puttemans, Sophie Vangheluwe, Nicole Wenderoth and Stephan P. Swinnen

When performing movements with different spatial trajectories in both upper limbs simultaneously, patterns of interference emerge that can be overcome with practice. Even though studies on the role of augmented feedback in motor learning have been abundant, it still remains to be discovered how overcoming such specific patterns of spatial interference can be optimized by instructional intervention. In the present study, one group acquired a bimanual movement with normal vision, whereas a second group received augmented feedback of the obtained trajectories on a computer screen in real time. Findings revealed that, relative to normal vision, the augmented feedback hampered skill learning and transfer to different environmental conditions. These observations are discussed in view of the benefits and pitfalls of augmented feedback in relation to task context and instructional condition.

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Jacqueline M. Edwards, Digby Elliott and Timothy D. Lee

An experiment is reported that investigated the effects of contextual interference on motor skill acquisition, and transfer of training in Down’s syndrome adolescents. Twenty Down’s syndrome adolescents and 20 nonhandicapped mental age controls learned a coincident anticipation timing task using either a random or a blocked training schedule. For transfer to a novel but similar task, subjects from both populations evidenced beneficial effects due to random practice. These data are discussed in terms of recent developments for strategy enhancement in motor learning by mentally retarded individuals.

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David L. Porretta

This study investigated the effects of contextual interference on the immediate transfer and 2-day retention of a bean bag tossing task by mildly mentally handicapped children. A total of 24 boys and 24 girls with a mean chronological age of 10.2 years were randomly assigned to either a blocked, serial, or random practice condition. Following 48 practice trials with bean bags of various weights, subjects were transferred to two novel weighted bean bags. Both transfer and retention analyses showed that subjects in the random practice condition exhibited less error than subjects in either the blocked or serial practice conditions. However, these differences were not significant. Boys performed with significantly less error than girls on both transfer and retention, while regardless of gender, the heavier weighted bean bag resulted in significantly less error on transfer only. Results provide marginal support for the contention that greater contextual interference (random practice) leads to better transfer and retention than other types of practice conditions.

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Nicole Wenderoth, Otmar Bock and Rainer Krohn

The present study investigates whether the acquisition of a rhythmical bimanual coordination pattern is influenced by existing intrinsic coordination tendencies. Participants were required to learn 1 of 5 new coordination patterns, whose relative phase ϕ was either 36, 60, or 90° away from the 0° and 180° attractors, respectively. They performed 35 trials, each consisting of 2 conditions: In the augmented feedback condition, continuous visual guidance was provided, while in the normal feedback condition participants were required to rely on normal vision of their arms. We found that all to-be-learned patterns were performed with higher accuracy in the visually guided condition, whereas interference with pre-existing coordination tendencies was more pronounced in the normal vision condition. Comparing the learning progress of the 5 groups, we found for patterns close to anti-phase, a smaller improvement and significantly larger phase errors than for patterns close to in-phase. This indicates that the acquisition of a new phase relationship is influenced by existing attractors and that the 180º attractor interfered more strongly with the to-be-learned pattern than the 0º attractor.