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J. Greg Anson, Brian l. Hyland, Rolf Kötter and Jeffery R. Wickens

A movement task was used to investigate the effects of precued variables on reaction time. The task involved rapid rotation of a hand-held manipulandum to target locations and required either pronation or supination of the forearm through short or long extent. The effects on reaction time of precues signalling target direction, extent, or a combination of direction and extent, were measured. The longest reaction times occurred when no information about direction or extent was provided in the precue (all parameters uncertain). Complete prior specification of target position produced the shortest reaction times. Specification of direction when extent was uncertain produced a significantly larger reduction in reaction time than specification of extent when direction was uncertain. Prior specification of extent also produced a small but significant reduction in reaction time relative to the condition in which direction and extent were specified in a mutually conditional manner. The results are discussed in relation to parameter precuing and motor programming, in which the direction is programmed by the pre-selection of neurons representing the muscles to be used in the task while programming of extent is represented by their level of activity during task performance.

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Amir A. Mohagheghi, J. Greg Anson, Brian I. Hyland, Louise Parr-Brownlie and Jeffrey R. Wickens

The effect of foreperiod length on reaction time in memorized (MM) and nonmemorized (NM), precued, delayed responses was investigated. Six subjects participated in one long and one short foreperiod schedule testing session. An aiming task, using elbow supination/pronation, in response to a visual stimulus was employed. In the MM condition, target spatial information was available for a fraction of the foreperiod duration. In the NM condition, target information was available continuously until the subject attained the target position. Subjects responded with a significantly longer latency in the long foreperiod schedule. Within each foreperiod schedule, the shortest foreperiod resulted in significantly longer reaction time. However, the absolute value of foreperiod did not have a major effect on reaction time latency. Memorization and nonmemorization conditions did not affect reaction time.

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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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Louise Parr-Brownlie, Jeffrey Wickens, J. Greg Anson and Brian Hyland

In the monkey, reaction time in a precued delayed response task was found to be faster when the animals had to remember the precue than when it was continually available (Smyrnis, Taira, Ashe, & Georgopoulos, 1992). We investigated whether this reflects a general principle that applies to all types of precued tasks. However, we found the opposite result in a simpler task in humans. Our findings suggest that the beneficial effect of a memory requirement on reaction time in the monkey may reflect an effect of task difficulty, rather than a fundamental process involved in all precued movement tasks.

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David Antonio Gonzalez, Adam Dubrowski and Heather Carnahan

Visual and haptic integration has been examined extensively, however little is known about alternative premovement sensory information to help in the anticipatory control of prehension. This study explored the concept of using auditory cues as an alternative premovement cue. Individuals lifted champagne flutes filled with various levels of water; and one group was given a sound cue before lifting. Sounds provided a precue regarding fluid level and hence mass. Results showed that auditory cues were used to predict the “target force” required to lift the masses, as evidenced by scaling of grip rates as a function of mass in the auditory cue group only. It was hypothesized that individuals used the auditory cues to preprogram the grasping forces produced during the lifting movement.

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Twan ten Haaf, Selma van Staveren, Danilo Iannetta, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen, Maria F. Piacentini, Carl Foster, Leo Koenderman, Hein A.M. Daanen and Jos J. de Koning

computerized finger-precuing task, 14 a test modified from the test as described by Miller 15 (Figure  2 ). Each task started with the warning sign displayed on a computer screen: 4 plus signs on a row (+ + + +), which indicated the 4 possible target locations on the keyboard (left middle finger, left index

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Stefanie Hüttermann, Werner F. Helsen, Koen Put and Daniel Memmert

,000 ms), followed by two 200-ms precue circles indicating the future locations of the two target stimuli (see Figure  1 ). Figure 1 —Sequence of events in a trial with stimuli along the horizontal meridian. Adapted from “Fixation strategy influences the ability to focus attention on two spatially

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Jason C. Laffer, Aaron J. Coutts and Job Fransen

method to observe gaze strategies for different blockers, player interviews could also be used if this technology is not available. Coaching instructions are a commonly used implicit precuing strategy, providing information about observed strategies or tendencies of the opposition in order to better

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Stephen R. Bested, Gerome A. Manson and Luc Tremblay

prior to completing a 15 trial Pre-Test to the same target. During both the familiarization and Pre-Test phases, no visual feedback of the target was given (i.e., one second following the trial auditory pre-cue, the target disappeared). This was done to reduce the amount of short-term learning that may

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Chun-Hao Wang and Kuo-Cheng Tu

ocular-corrected EEG was then segmented into epochs ranging from −700 to 800 ms relative to target onset. The EEG data were then filtered with a digital band-pass filter between 0.1 and 30 Hz (12 dB/octave). The 200-ms precue period was used as baseline correction. Data with behavioral errors or