The influence of accuracy constraints on bimanual and unimanual sequence learning.
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An experiment was designed to determine whether accuracy constraints can influence how unimanual and bimanual motor sequences are produced and learned. The accuracy requirements of the task were manipulated using principles derived from Fitts' Law to create relatively low (ID = 3) and high (ID = 5) accuracy demands. Right-limb dominant participants (N = 28, age = 21.9 yrs; 15 females and 13 males) were required to produce unimanual left, unimanual right or bimanual movement sequences using elbow extension and flexion movements to hit a series of illuminated targets. The targets were illuminated in a repeating sequence of 16 elements. Participants performed 20 practice trials. Thirty minutes following the practice trials participants performed a retention test. Element duration (time interval between target hits) and segment harmonicity (hesitations/adjustments in movement pattern) were calculated. The results indicate longer element duration and lower harmonicity values (more adjustments) when the task required higher accuracy demands (ID = 5) compared to low accuracy demands (ID = 3). Element duration was shorter and harmonicity was higher at ID = 5 for both unimanual groups than the bimanual group. However, element duration was shorter and harmonicity was higher at ID = 3 for the bimanual group than for both unimanual groups. These results indicate that the accuracy demands of the task can influence both performance and learning of motor sequences and suggest differences between unimanual and bimanual motor sequence learning. It appears there is a bimanual advantage for tasks with lower accuracy demands whereas performance is more accurate with unimanual performance, regardless of limb, with higher accuracy demands. These results are consistent with recent research indicating that accuracy requirements change the control processes for bimanual performance differently than for unimanual tasks.
author list (cited authors)
Kennedy, D. M., Wang, C., Wang, Y., & Shea, C. H.
complete list of authors
Kennedy, Deanna M||Wang, Chaoyi||Wang, Yiyu||Shea, Charles H