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Type: Journal article
Title: Motor training decreases finger tremor and movement response time in a visuomotor tracking task
Author: Dartnall, T.
Jaberzadeh, S.
Miles, T.
Nordstrom, M.
Citation: Journal of Motor Behavior, 2009; 41(1):55-64
Publisher: Heldref Publications
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 0022-2895
Statement of
Dartnall, TJ; Jaberzadeh, S; Miles, TS; and Nordstrom, MA.
Abstract: The authors sought to determine whether repeated practice of a skilled motor task reduced the tremor arising from pulsatile control that occurs during and after training. Participants flexed and extended their index finger at the metacarpophalangeal joint to track a screen cursor during skill training, in 6 training runs, each of 3-min duration. Nonskill training comprised voluntary flexion and extension movements. The authors measured performance by the average tracking error in a standard 10-s target pattern embedded in the training runs. Cross-correlation of the motor performance and the target pattern revealed that the improved ability to match the shape of the target pattern accounted for 63% of the improved motor performance and that the decreased time to respond to changes in the target line accounted for 10% of the improvement. Skill, but not nonskill training, reduced tremor after 3 min of training during the training movements and during movements 10 and 25 min afterwards. The authors observed no changes in resting tremor after either training protocol. Although training reduced the tremor, this reduction in itself did not significantly improve tracking performance. The authors conclude that visuomotor skill training produces a general reduction in finger tremor (pulsatile control) during voluntary movements that extends beyond the period of training.
Keywords: learning; pulsatile control; reaction time; skill
RMID: 0020090020
DOI: 10.1080/00222895.2009.10125924
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Appears in Collections:Molecular and Biomedical Science publications

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