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Bobby L. Eason and Paul R. Surburg

Students with mild mental retardation (MMR) often demonstrate reluctance, confusion, or performance deterioration when required to perform tasks that require looking, reaching, or stepping across the body’s midline. Sensory integration theorists contend that midline crossing is a predictor of bilateral integration. However, in factor analysis studies, very little variance is accounted for by midline crossing data. The present study viewed midline crossing as a function of information processing and utilized a temporal assessment process rather than the usual spatial assessment process. Results indicated that subjects classified as MMR experienced slower choice reaction time (CRT) and movement time (MT) for stimuli placed across the body’s midline. However, higher functioning subjects with MMR performed equally well on CRT for ipsilateral and crosslateral tasks. The data provide evidence for a developmental hypothesis as an explanation for midline crossing problems.

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Andrew M. Johnson, Philip A. Vernon, Quincy J. Almeida, Linda L. Grantier, and Mandar S. Jog

The effect of a precue on improving movement initiation (i.e., reaction time; RT) is well understood, whereas its influence on movement execution (i.e., movement time; MT) has rarely been examined. The current study investigated the influence of a directional precue (i.e., left vs. right) on the RT and MT of simple and discrete bi-directional movements in a large sample of Parkinson's disease patients and healthy control participants. Both patients and controls were tested twice, with testing sessions separated by 2 hours. Patients were tested first following an overnight levodopa withdrawal and again after they had taken their medication. Both patients and controls demonstrated a significant RT improvement when information was provided in advance. MT in both healthy participants and medicated patients was, however, slower with the provision of advance information, while unmedicated patients showed no significant MT effects. These results suggest that while the basal ganglia may not be involved in motor program selection, they may dynamically modulate movement execution.

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Ran Zheng, Ilana D. Naiman, Jessica Skultety, Steven R. Passmore, Jim Lyons, and Cheryl M. Glazebrook

(64) 180 (40) taPV 241 (46) 258 (56) 268 (39) 269 (81) 282 (88) 379 (140) Note . PMT = premotor reaction time; MOT = motor reaction time; MT = movement time; ttPV = time to peak velocity; taPV = time after peak velocity; VE = variable error; ASD = autism spectrum disorder; TD = typically developing; 1

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Tsung-Yu Hsieh, Matheus M. Pacheco, and Karl M. Newell

The goal of present experiment was to test whether different speed-accuracy paradigms outcomes (time minimization and time matching) were due to different temporal and spatial task constraints. Fifteen participants twice performed 100 trials of time minimization and time matching tasks with the yoked temporal and spatial requirements (criterion time and target width). The results showed that performing an aiming movement under the same spatial and temporal constraints resulted in similar outcomes with distributional properties (skewness and kurtosis) being slightly affected by practice effects. There was a trade-off in the information entropy for space and time (temporal information entropy decreased as spatial information entropy increased) with practice. Nevertheless, the joint space-time entropy of outcome did not change across tasks and conditions—revealing a common level of space-time entropy between these two categories of aiming tasks. These findings support the hypothesis that under the same spatial and temporal constraints the movement speed-accuracy function shares the same properties independent of task category.

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Karen N. White, Katherine B. Gunter, Christine M. Snow, and Wilson C. Hayes

The Quick Step measures reaction time and lateral stepping velocity. Upon a visual cue, participants step to the side as quickly as possible. Instrumentation includes floor pads with pressure-sensitive switches and two timers. In all, 109 older adults who had experienced a recent fall, 46 older adult nonfallers, and 24 young adults volunteered for testing. Reliability for reaction time and stepping velocity was good to excellent (intraclass correlation = 0.69–0.85). Multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant difference between groups, p < 0.01, but not between stepping directions, p = 0.62–0.72, for both reaction time and stepping velocity. Reaction times were different among the three groups, p < 0.01, with the young adults having the fastest times and the older adult fallers having the slowest times. Lateral stepping velocity was faster among the young adults than for the two older groups, p < 0.01, but did not differ between the older adults, p = 0.29. It is concluded that the Quick Step is a simple and reliable tool for determining reaction time and lateral stepping velocity, and that this test can be used to detect a significant difference in reaction time between older adult fallers and nonfallers.

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Eric A. Roy, Linda E. Rohr, and Patricia L. Weir

Two experiments are reported that focus on manipulating both the context and the spatial precision of a computer-pointing task. Single goal-directed actions are compared to dual-phase tasks, where participants are required to sequentially attain two goal locations. Results support the idea that for movements in series, movement planning, and online feedback, control can occur simultaneously. Additionally, for single-phase tasks and the final phase of dual-phase tasks, the termination requirement influences the temporal components of the movement. The effects of termination and movement context appear to hold regardless of the spatial precision of the task. This suggests that the effects of spatial precision and movement termination are independent, although both have an impact on the deceleration time for goal-directed movements.

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Greg Henry, Brian Dawson, Brendan Lay, and Warren Young

Purpose:

To study the validity of a video-based reactive agility test in Australian footballers.

Methods:

15 higher performance, 15 lower performance, and 12 nonfootballers completed a light-based reactive agility test (LRAT), a video-based reactive agility test (VRAT), and a planned test (PLAN).

Results:

With skill groups pooled, agility time in PLAN (1346 ± 66 ms) was significantly faster (P = .001) than both reactive tests (VRAT = 1550 ± 102 ms; LRAT = 1572 ± 97 ms). In addition, decision time was significantly faster (P = .001; d = 0.8) in LRAT (278 ± 36 ms) than VRAT (311 ± 47 ms). The correlation in agility time between the two reactive tests (r = .75) was higher than between the planned and reactive tests (r = .41–.68). Higher performance players had faster agility and movement times on VRAT (agility, 130 ± 24 ms, d = 1.27, P = .004; movement, 69 ± 73 ms, d = 0.88, P = .1) and LRAT (agility, 95 ± 86 ms, d = 0.99, P = .08; movement, 79 ± 74 ms; d = 0.9; P = .08) than the nonfootballers. In addition, higher (55 ± 39 ms, d = 0.87, P = .05) and lower (40 ± 57 ms, d = 0.74, P = .18) performance groups exhibited somewhat faster agility time than nonfootballers on PLAN. Furthermore, higher performance players were somewhat faster than lower performance for agility time on the VRAT (63 ± 85 ms, d = 0.82, P = .16) and decision time on the LRAT (20 ± 39 ms, d = 0.66, P = .21), but there was little difference in PLAN agility time between these groups (15 ± 150 ms, d = 0.24, P = .8).

Conclusions:

Differences in decision-making speed indicate that the sport-specific nature of the VRAT is not duplicated by a light-based stimulus. In addition, the VRAT is somewhat better able to discriminate different groups of Australian footballers than the LRAT. Collectively, this indicates that a video-based test is a more valid assessment tool for examining agility in Australian footballers.

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Robert C. Lynall, Rachel S. Johnson, Landon B. Lempke, and Julianne D. Schmidt

Context: Reaction time is commonly assessed postconcussion through a computerized neurocognitive battery. Although this measure is sensitive to postconcussion deficits, it is not clear if computerized reaction time reflects the dynamic reaction time necessary to compete effectively and safely during sporting activities. Functional reaction time assessments may be useful postconcussion, but reliability must be determined before clinical implementation. Objective: To determine the test–retest reliability of a functional reaction time assessment battery and to determine if reaction time improved between sessions. Design: Cohort. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Forty-one participants (21 men and 20 women) completed 2 time points. Participants, on average, were 22.5 (2.1) years old, 72.5 (11.9) cm tall, had a mass of 71.0 (13.7) kg, and were mostly right leg and hand dominant (92.7%). Interventions: Participants completed 2 clinical reaction time tests (computerized Stroop and drop stick) and 5 functional reaction time tests (gait, jump landing, single-leg hop, anticipated cut, and unanticipated cut) across 2 sessions. Drop stick and functional reaction time assessments were performed in single (motor task only) and dual task (motor task with cognitive task). Main Outcome Measures: Reaction time (in seconds) was calculated during all assessments. Test–retest reliability was determined using 2-way mixed-effects intraclass correlation coefficients (3, k). Paired samples t tests compared mean reaction time between sessions. Results: Test–retest reliability was moderate to excellent for all reaction time outcomes (intraclass correlation coefficients [3, k] range = .766–.925). Several statistically significant between-session mean differences were observed, but effect sizes were negligible to small (d range = 0.05–0.44). Conclusions: The functional reaction time assessment battery displayed similar reliability to the standard computerized reaction time assessment battery and may provide important postinjury information, but more research is needed to determine clinical utility.

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Elizabeth J. Bradshaw and W.A. Sparrow

The study examined adjustments to gait when positioning the foot within a narrow target area at the end of an approach or “run-up” similar to the take-off board in long jumping. In one task, participants (n = 24) sprinted toward and placed their foot within targets of four different lengths for 8-m and 12-m approach distances while “running through” the target. In a second task, participants (n = 12) sprinted toward and stopped with both feet in the target area. Infra-red timing lights were placed along the approach strip to measure movement times, with a camera positioned to view the whole approach to measure the total number of steps, and a second camera placed to view the final stride, which was analyzed using an in-house digitizing system to calculate the final stride characteristics. In the run-through task, a speed-accuracy trade-off showing a linear relationship (r = 0.976, p < .05) between target length and approach time was found for the 8-m amplitude. An accelerative sub-movement and a later targeting or “homing-in” sub-movement were found in the approach kinematics for both amplitudes. Final stride duration increased, and final stride velocity decreased with a decrease in target length.

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Alessia Longo and Ruud Meulenbroek

flexibility. This study was set up to examine how movement variability changes in healthy participants during sustained bimanual reaching under controlled precision conditions, in particular with regard to movement time (MT), end-point variability, approximate entropy (ApEn), and standard deviation (SD) of