Using fast tapping tasks with each of the four fingers (single-finger tapping) and with two of the fingers used alternately (double-finger tapping), the ability to make rapid tapping movement by the individual fingers was compared between expert pianists and nonmusician controls in both genders. Maximal pinch and grasp forces were also measured to assess strength of individual fingers and whole hand, respectively. Movement of the ring and little fingers was slower than that of the index and middle fingers in both the pianists and controls. The slowness of the ring and little fingers was, however, much less evident in the pianists than the controls in both tapping tasks. The pianists also had smaller intertap interval variability for the index and middle fingers. No pianist–control difference was found for the pinch and grasp forces. Piano training, therefore, effectively changed the ability to move individual fingers rapidly, but not their flexor strength. No gender difference was found in any of the tapping tasks though males had greater strength. Gender thus does not appear to be a factor differentiating the ability to move individual fingers rapidly.
Tomoko Aoki, Shinichi Furuya, and Hiroshi Kinoshita
Tomoko Aoki and Koji Kadota
tapping frequency ( Hermsdörfer, Marquardt, Wack, & Mai, 1999 ), also decline with age. Several static motor function studies on individual fingers have reported that older adults produce a lower maximum pinch force between the thumb and each of the four fingers compared with young adults ( Ranganathan
Mark Holten Mora-Jensen, Pascal Madeleine, and Ernst Albin Hansen
Index finger tapping is a relatively simple motor task that is related to various everyday activities such as computer work and playing musical instruments. Furthermore, the task is widely applied in studies of both healthy individuals ( Hammond & Gunasekera, 2008 ; Hansen & Ohnstad, 2008
Tomoko Aoki, Hayato Tsuda, and Hiroshi Kinoshita
capacity of individual fingers. One of the groups of authors investigated dynamic aspects of finger motor function using maximum speed tapping with one of the four fingers (single-finger tapping) in healthy older individuals ( Aoki & Fukuoka, 2010 ). It was found that in healthy older adults, the index
Nobuyuki Inui and Yumi Katsura
We conducted an experiment to examine age-related differences in the control of force and timing in a finger-tapping sequence with an attenuated-force tap. Participants between 7 and 20 years old tapped on a load cell with feedback on practice trials. They were required to recall the force pattern (300 g, 300 g, 300 g, 100 g) and the intertap interval (400 ms) without feedback on test trials. Analysis indicated that the last attenuated tap affected the first three taps of the tapping sequence in adults and adolescents but not in children. Adults and adolescents appeared to respond with four taps as a chunk, resulting in a contextual effect on the timing of force control, but younger children had difficulty with such chunking. Further, adults and adolescents were able to more accurately produce individual force magnitudes to match target magnitudes than younger children. For the ratio of force in serial positions 1:4, 2:4, and 3:4, consequently, 7- to 8-year-old children had lower ratios than the other age groups. Although there was no difference among age groups for timing control of peak force to press duration as a control strategy of force, 7- to 8-year-old children spent more time to produce force than the other age groups. Peak force with a decreased force was more variable in the attenuated force serial position (4) than in the other serial positions in all five age groups. Peak force variability was particularly robust in younger children. These findings suggest that younger children have difficulty with both temporal and spatial (i.e., magnitude) components of force control.
An experiment was conducted to examine contextual effects of the magnitude of changes in force on force control in a finger-tapping sequence with an accentuated- (accentuated-force condition) or attenuated-force tap (attenuated-force condition). Participants were trained to produce a finger-tapping sequence with an intertap interval of 500 ms and four force patterns. During practice, visual force feedback pertaining to the two target forces in the tapping sequences was provided. After practice, the participants reproduced the learned tapping sequences in the absence of feedback. A main result was that the last accentuated-force tap affected the first three taps of the tapping sequence. For the accentuated-force conditions, the larger the difference between the first three target forces and the last target force, the larger the first three forces. This indicates the contextual effect of serial position for force control. This effect was not observed, however, under the attenuated-force conditions.
Alya H. Bdaiwi, Tanya Anne Mackenzie, Lee Herrington, Ian Horlsey, and Ann Cools
Compromise to the acromiohumeral distance (AHD) has been reported in subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome when compared with healthy subjects. In clinical practice, patients are taped with the intention of altering scapular position and influencing the AHD. However, research to determine the effects of taping on AHD is exiguous.
To evaluate the effect of ridged taping techniques to increase posterior scapular tilt and upward scapular rotation on the AHD.
1-group pretest/posttest repeated-measures design.
Human performance laboratory.
20 asymptomatic participants (10 male and 10 female) age 27 y (SD 8.0 y).
Ridged tapping of the scapula into posterior tilt and upward scapular rotation.
Main Outcome Measure:
Ultrasound measurement of the AHD.
AHD increased significantly after rigid tape application to the scapula (P < .003) in healthy shoulders in 60° of passive arm abduction.
Taping techniques applied to the scapula had an immediate effect of increasing the AHD in healthy shoulders in 60° of passive arm abduction. Results suggest that taping for increasing posterior scapular tilt and increasing scapular upward rotation can influence the AHD and is a useful adjunct to rehabilitation in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.
An experiment was conducted to examine the coupling of force variability in bimanual finger tapping sequences with asymmetrical forces. Right-handed participants were trained to produce bimanual finger tapping sequences consisted of an intertap interval of 500 ms and eight force conditions: two alternating force left high, two alternating force right high, two simultaneous force left high, and two simultaneous force right high conditions. During practice, visual force feedback was provided for both hands performing the bimanual tapping sequences. After practice, the participants produced the learned tapping sequences in the absence of feedback. Most importantly, whereas the peak force variability of the nondominant left hand was larger than that of the dominant right hand under the right high conditions, there was no left–right difference under the simultaneous left high conditions. This suggests that under the simultaneous left high conditions, both hemispheres were activated, resulting in overflow in the right hand, and bringing the two force variabilities closer together.
Hirokazu Sasaki, Junya Masumoto, and Nobuyuki Inui
The present study examined whether the elderly produced a hastened or delayed tap with a negative or positive constant intertap interval error more frequently in self-paced tapping than in the stimulus-synchronized tapping for the 2 N target force at 2 or 4 Hz frequency. The analysis showed that, at both frequencies, the percentage of the delayed tap was larger in the self-paced tapping than in the stimulus-synchronized tapping, whereas the hastened tap showed the opposite result. At the 4 Hz frequency, all age groups had more variable intertap intervals during the self-paced tapping than during the stimulus-synchronized tapping, and the variability of the intertap intervals increased with age. Thus, although the increase in the frequency of delayed taps and variable intertap intervals in the self-paced tapping perhaps resulted from a dysfunction of movement timing in the basal ganglia with age, the decline in timing accuracy was somewhat improved by an auditory cue. The force variability of tapping at 4 Hz further increased with age, indicating an effect of aging on the control of force.
Shinya Fujii and Shingo Oda
The aim of this study is to establish the effects of stick use on rhythmic bimanual coordination in drummers. Eighteen drummers performed a rapid antiphase coordination task using their fingers and handheld drumsticks. We found no significant differences in the speed of tapping between finger and stick-use tapping, while stick-use tapping had a larger peak force and smaller variability in coordination pattern than finger tapping. As a consequence, the quotient of the number of taps divided by the variability of coordination pattern, named the bimanual performance quotient, was higher for stick-use tapping than for finger tapping. A significant correlation was found between years of drumming experience and the bimanual performance quotient for both finger and stick-use tapping, but not between the years of drumming experience and the degree of improvement in the bimanual performance quotient with stick use relative to finger tapping. These results indicate that stick use enhances drummers’ bimanual coordination during rapid alternate tapping, whereas the degree of improvement with stick use does not depend on drumming experience.