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Cédric Roure and Denis Pasco

When participating in a learning task, students differ in the level of intensity, attention and enjoyment that characterizes their engagement. Such differences may reflect the fluctuation of situational interest, which is an affective state that is aroused by the characteristics of the environment

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Blai Ferrer-Uris, Albert Busquets and Rosa Angulo-Barroso

exercise (iE) bout. But, the different timing of motor-consolidation effects might be task-dependent because these studies used different learning tasks. In addition, Roig et al. ( 2012 ) determined that after 7 days from adaptation, the effects were greater when the exercise bout was presented immediately

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Marcelo Eduardo de Souza Nunes, Umberto Cesar Correa, Marina Gusman Thomazi Xavier de Souza, Luciano Basso, Daniel Boari Coelho and Suely Santos

purpose, golf putting was used as the learning task. Results showed that the groups had similar accuracy and consistency of performance, including in the test phase. Results also showed that the groups diminished the amplitude and time of the backswing and increased the amplitude and time of the forward

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Emily Dane-Staples

Active-learning research has explored 2 distinct areas: pedagogy and physical space. As existing research has most often explored only 1 area per study and few have been done in the area of sport sociology, additional research is needed. This research combined both areas of active learning through a quasi-experimental design. Using 2 different classes, Sport and Society and Gender and Sport, students were exposed to an unchanging physical space or manipulated physical space, as well as active-learning tasks of varying complexity. No differences in student perceptions of engagement or learning were found when comparing space variations; however, task complexity did lead to significant differences in student perceptions of engagement and learning.

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Hanneke I. van Mier, Joel S. Perlmutter and Steven E. Petersen

In the present study, brain activations were measured using positron emission tomography (PET) over the course of practice. Fourteen right-handed participants were scanned during six 1-min periods of practice tracing a cutout maze design with their eyes closed. Practice-related decreases were found in the right premotor and posterior parietal cortex and left cerebellum, increases in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and primary motor cortex. The decrease in right premotor activity and the increase in SMA was significantly correlated with a decrease in the number of stops, implying involvement in learning and storing the movement sequence. The significant correlation between decreases in errors and left cerebellar and right posterior parietal activity suggests a role in accuracy. Involvement of the primary motor cortex in motor execution is suggested by the correlation of increased activation and movement speed. These results suggest that different neural structures (involving a premotor-parietal-cerebellar circuit) play a role in a sequential maze learning task.

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Hans van der Mars, Paul Darst, Bill Vogler and Barbara Cusimano

Supervision patterns of elementary physical educators were analyzed in relation to work involvement patterns of students in each teacher’s class. The supervision patterns analyzed included teacher location, rate of movement, and provision of verbal feedback. Work involvement by students was categorized into on-task, off-task, total motor engagement, and successful motor engagement (ALT-PE). Results showed that teachers spent more time along the periphery of the activity area, and that they were positioned more along the sides. They were active movers, averaging six sector changes per minute, and active in providing verbal feedback (3.2/min). Teacher feedback patterns did not correlate with teacher location/movement patterns. Teachers’ location (periphery) and movement correlated significantly with students’ total motor engagement. Teacher movement also correlated significantly with ALT-PE. Positive behavior feedback correlated with students’ on-task behaviors. Findings indicate that active supervision is important in maintaining students’ involvement with learning tasks in physical education.

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Cláudio Filipe Farias, Isabel Ribeiro Mesquita and Peter A. Hastie

The impact of a hybrid Sport Education-Invasion Games Competence Model (IGCM) unit of instruction on students’ game performance and game understanding in soccer was examined in this study. Pre- and posttest measures were collected from one fifth grade class of students (n = 24, mean age 10.3) residing in Portugal during a 17-lesson unit of instruction (season). Students’ game performance during multiple 10-min long matches was assessed using the coding instrument of Blomqvist, Vänttinen, and Luhtanen (2005). An author developed game understanding test was used to assess knowledge on decision making and skill execution. Performance differences between males and females were examined using the Mann-Whitney test and student improvement pre- to poststudy was examined using the Wilcoxon test. The combined application of Sport Education (authentic learning environment) and the IGCM (with learning tasks focused on the specific tactical-content and skills of soccer) promoted improvements in students’ game performance and understanding, and increments on the correlations between both constructs.

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Ilse A.D.A. van Tilborg and Wouter Hulstijn

Experimental studies show intact implicit motor learning in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) but the results for patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are inconclusive. This study tests implicit sequence learning in AD and PD patients, and healthy controls, using the classical Serial Reaction Time Task (SRTT), and a somewhat similar Pattern Learning Task (PLT), which involves stylus movements in different directions, and which allows detailed movement analysis. As expected, the time measures showed less implicit motor learning in the PD patients relative to the other groups in both tasks, but their error percentages increased when the sequence changed from a fixed to a random order, which is indicative of implicit learning. The AD patients showed a reversed pattern of results. Arguably, errors and time measures may reflect the involvement of separate processes, e.g., spatial and motor components, which could be differently affected in AD and PD.

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Jennifer Etnier, Jeffrey D. Labban, Aaron Piepmeier, Matthew E. Davis and David A. Henning

Research supports the positive effects of exercise on cognitive performance by children. However, a limited number of studies have explored the effects specifically on memory. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of an acute bout of exercise on learning, short-term memory, and long-term memory in a sample of children. Children were randomly assigned to an exercise condition or to a no-treatment control condition and then performed repeated trials on an auditory verbal learning task. In the exercise condition, participants performed the PACER task, an aerobic fitness assessment, in their physical education class before performing the memory task. In the control condition, participants performed the memory task at the beginning of their physical education class. Results showed that participants in the exercise condition demonstrated significantly better learning of the word lists and significantly better recall of the words after a brief delay. There were not significant differences in recognition of the words after an approximately 24-hr delay. These results provide evidence in a school setting that an acute bout of exercise provides benefits for verbal learning and long-term memory. Future research should be designed to identify the extent to which these findings translate to academic measures.

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Ramesh Kaipa, Michael Robb and Richard Jones

In this experiment, we investigated the role of practice variability (constant versus variable practice) and practice schedule (random versus blocked practice) on spatial and temporal learning of a speech task as a function of aging. The participants were 80 healthy individuals (40–80 years) with no history of cognitive, sensory, or motor disorders. A median split was performed to divide the participants into older and younger groups. The median split was at 59 years of age, thus placing 40 participants in each age group. The participants were assigned to one of four practice groups and practiced a nonmeaningful phrase for two consecutive days. On the third day, the participants reproduced the speech phrase without practice. Data analysis revealed that older participants involved in constant practice demonstrated superior temporal learning of the speech task over participants on variable practice. Older participants on random practice demonstrated better spatial learning of the speech task than did participants on blocked practice. In contrast, there was no effect of practice conditions on spatial and temporal learning outcomes in the younger group. The findings indicate that practice variability and practice schedule influence different aspects of a complex speech-motor learning task among older adults but not among younger adults.