what is a skill
A learned, goal-directed activity entailing a broad range of human behaviors.
what are the three different skill domains?
- Cognitive Skills : A skill for which success is primarily determined by an individual’s knowledge and cognitive capabilities.
- Perceptual Skill : A skill for which the ability to discern and discriminate among sensory stimuli is of primary concern in successfully accomplishing the skill.
- Motor Skills : A learned, goal-directed activity accomplished primarily through muscular contributions to action.
the 7 similarities amongst the three different skill domains.
- transfer specificity
- learning rates
- learning stages
- individual differences in skill performance
- importance of imagery
- involvement in neural substrates
- similar training effects
practicing one skill has little (if any) effect on other skills
similar patterns described by same mathematical power function rules.
learners progress through same stages regardless of skill domain.
individual differences in skill performance
correlation with how well individuals perform any two dissimilar skills.
importance of imagery
recent research revealed importance of imagery in all three domains.
Involvement of neural substrates
there is not a lot of differentiation between areas of the brain. (ex. cerebellum is involved in all three domains).
Similar training effects
practice distribution effects, effectiveness of varied practice scheduling, and the roles of instruction and feedback.
3 components of a motor skill
- The Person - attributes of individual play an important role in shaping the performance of motor skills.
- The Task - skill tasks vary widely in their goals and in movement demands placed upon performers.
- The Environment - Where will a motor skill be performed? What is the environmental context of performance?
Define terms motor learning and motor control. What are the differences between the two? How are they related? Be able to define both terms explicitly.
Motor learning- The study of the processes involved in learning new motor skills, and the study of the processes of the variables that promote or inhibit learning them.
Motor control- The study of the neural, behavioral, environmental, and synergistic mechanism responsible for human movement and stability.
Similarities? They both focus on the factors that develop skilled physical behaviors in humans and the factors that help them execute them.
What are the three factors that influence the learning of motor skills?
the learner- i.e. age, sex, physical condition, intelligence, psychological characteristics, and existing skill level
the skill to be learned- different skills need to be taught different ways, and the instructor has to be knowledgeable about how to do so.
the conditions under which the skill is learned (the environment)
What are the 2 kinda of environments in which you can learn a skill
social- whether it’s practiced alone or with others, the instructor-learning relationship, and what the experience is like
environmental- availability of equipment, physical features of the environment, time of day, lighting conditions, and environmental distractions.
Russian Nikolai Bernstein
1897-1966/1970 : Russian Nikolai Bernstein evolved contemporary theories on motor control and learning
- 1874-1949 Edward Thorndike was the most influential person in psychological developments that impact the learning of motor skills. He developed the Law of Effect- when behaviors are rewarded they are repeated.
1904-1992 : Franklin Henry most responsible person for the evolution of motor learning as an academic field of study. He also caused a large expansion of physical education programs in the 1950’s and 60’s
3 characteristics of motor skills
Motor Equivalence : The capacity to produce many different movement patterns to accomplish the same action goal. (ex. turning on a lightswitch with your elbow).
Motor Variability : No two movement patterns, even of the same skill, are ever produced in exactly the same way. (ex. actions are never completed in exactly the same way).
Motor Consistency : The capacity to achieve the goals of motor skills consistently; the capacity of the human motor system to learn. (ex. a baseball pitcher never uses the same neural pathways in throwing a fastball, yet his fastball is consistent in striking out batters).
Motor Modifiability : The capacity to alter a movement pattern to achieve a new action goal. (the ability to change an action quickly once it has begun). (ex. bball player starting to take a shot and then quickly changing her actions to pass the ball to a teammate).
Compare and contrast the ideas of a Hypothesis, Theory and Law. PAGE 121 Box 4.1
Hypothesis : is an educated guess based upon previous observations.
Theory : Summarizes a significant group of hypotheses that have supported the same conclusions about something through repeated testing.
Law : generalizes a large body of scientific observations, usually of many experiments over a substantial period of time, that have tested something in a broad diversity of ways.
Compare and contrast closed and open control systems. Give examples of each. PAGE 121
Closed Control System : A system in which the mechanisms of control are internal and closed to influences outside of the system itself.
Open Control System : A system that interacts the the environment outside of itself and responds to external influences in its mechanisms of control.
Know the information processing model and be able to determine examples of closed-loop systems. PAGE 1288
Closed-loop control system : A system of control in which feedback is compared to a reference of correctness during the course of action and errors corrected when necessary. Slow and deliberate (ex. driving a car, threading a needle, running to catch a fly ball, etc.).
3 advantages and 2 disadvantages of closed loop system
Advantage : especially appropriate when performing unpracticed skills.
Advantage : allowing movements to be corrected after they’ve begun.
Advantage : results in precise and accurate movements.
Disadvantage : Attention demanding
Disadvantage : time required to correct an ongoing action.
Know the information processing model and be able to determine examples of open-loop control systems. PAGE 128
Open-loop control system : A system of control in which movement commands are pre structured and executed without corrective intervention from feedback. Quickly and automatically (ex. computer program).
2 advantages and 2 disadvantage of open loop control systems
Advantage : quick movement
Advantage : attentional resources can be directed to other tasks
Disadvantage : Not effective for unpracticed/not well learned skills
Disadvantage : Not effective in changing environments
Define motor program. PAGE 123
Motor Program : A procedural memory comprised of the rules commanding muscular activity for producing specific skills.
- -is a structure that is centrally located
- -consists of a hierarchical arrangement of elements
- -is sufficient to explain the learning and control of movement skills
***represents a “top-down” system of control. - The brain is the boss and the muscles are the workers.
Define synergies. How are they implemented and what are their properties?
Synergy : A grouping of joints, muscles, and cells that temporarily cooperate in acting together as a single collective action unit; can be assembled and unassembled as the need arises; also called a coordinate structure.
what did Bernstein do for dynamical systems theory. PAGE 143
He was the first to identify the problems with cognitive-based approaches that are the impetus for dynamical systems theory.
what were the 2 major problems with Bernsteins theories
1. Context-conditioned variability problem : He recognized that the control of movement could not be reduced simply to a central mechanism of control responsible for commanding all muscle actions directly, but must take into account other forces acting on the moving body such as inertia, reactive forces, and gravitational and centripetal forces.
2. Degrees of freedom problem : (PAGE 48)How the many degrees of freedom available in the human motor system are controlled to produce a particular movement.
different divisions of the nervous system
Central Nervous System: all nerve cells within the brain and spine
Peripheral Nervous System: nerve cells everywhere else
different cell types and where they are found in nervous system and roles
- motor neurons carry efferent signals to the muscles or nerves they innervate, conveying commands to carry out
- interneurons are most of the neurons in the CNS that have 2 roles
- -1- link motor, sensory, and higher brain centers together
- 2-responsibly for abstract features of the nervous system, creating “The mind” i.e. emotions, memory, creativity, intellect, motivation, etc.
- sensory neurons carry afferent signals to the CNS about information from the environment and within the body
what is and what are the basic mechanisms of the action potential
Action potential: a charge causing on/off connections
-polarization is the rest phase where the ions on both sides of the cell are equal
-depolarization is the action/excitation phase where the inside of the cell are mostly positive
-sodium pump: pumps positive ions back to the outside of the cell
general mechanism of synaptic transmission and how it relates to learning
Synapse: the juncture between neurons
-the action potential starts at the end of the presynaptic neuron (synaptic knob) and jumps across the synaptic cleft to the postsynaptic neuron. This is called synaptic transmission.
this is where the treatments of the underlying causes of motor-related problems and diseases happen
common neurotransmitters used in the nervous system
Neurotransmitters: contained in the synaptic knob influence the transmission of the impulse across the synaptic gap (increase or decrease chances of depolarization
Acetylcholine is most common
Others: norepinephrine, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine, serotonin, glutamine, and GABA
Medulla: Regulates respiration, blood pressure, heart rate
Pons: routes ascending signals to upper brain components (“cross-over” relay station)
reticular formation function
Reticular formation: prioritizes incoming sensory signals and eliminates dumb information from further processing. also controls alertness and arousal levels
cerebellum: coordinates and plans voluntary muscular skills, maintains balance, monitors feedback from ongoing movements and initiates corrective actions, maintains muscle tone, helps with synchronization
hippocampus; retains working memory of ongoing movements, plays essential role in consolidation of long term memories
hypothalamus controls body temperature, regulates energy use, links brain and endocrine system, helps regulate emotions and behavioral patterns
thalamus: relays all sensory inputs to somatosensory cortex, reinforces voluntary motor behaviors initiated by higher brain centers
basal ganglia function
basal ganglia: plays role in the planning and execution of motor skills, involved in preparing and stabilizing body for movement, works in concert with cerebellum to coordinate voluntary movements, coordinates in slow, sustained movement
somatosensory cortex: sensory perception, routes sensory information to motor centers of cortex, prioritizes sensory sensitivity of bodily regions
motor cortex function
motor cortex: directly controls skeletal muscle contractions, prepares and executes the “motor program”, prioritizes complexity of motor control available to the bodily regions
supplemental cortex: intricately involved in planning and control of all voluntary movements
premotor cortex: plans and controls all voluntary movements, especially is involved in temporal organization of limb and body movements
How does the RAS system work? where is it?
location: in the reticular formation
action: focuses a person’s attention to specific features in the environment and bodily states, either broadly or more narrowly. this is done by blocking the communication of some information and allowing the communication of other information.
this is done by neuromodulators, which alters the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord
what is the inverted U theory?
the RAS system is beneficial and improves performance up to a certain point (the top of the inverted U)
beyond that, it is damaging to performance
what is adams closed loop theory
what are the 2 traces
-learning involved the forming and strengthening of neural traces in the brains cortex
1. memory trace- selects and initiates the desired action
2. perceptual trace- evaluates the correctly of the action
what are the 2 problems with adams closed loop theories?
novelty problem: when a person performs a movement for the first time, there is no memory trace because it hasn't been developed through previous practice. people shouldn't be able to produce unpracticed variations of a movement is memory trace was true.
storage problem: it'd be pretty impossible to create a specific memory and perceptual trace of every single movement we create when practicing something
How did Schmidt address the problems in Adam's work?
What is Schmidt's schema theory
Describe Schmidt's GMP (generalized motor program)?
-a theory of motor programs that make up an abstract set of rules that can be generalized for an entire class of similar action
GMP- motor program of schema theory: an abstract representation of rules generalized to control an entire class of actions
what are invariable features of Schema theory? (what are the 3 rules) how are the schema created?
- invariable features-the parts of a movement that remain the same, regardless of other factors
- -muscle sequencing: same sequence of the action occurs
- -relative timing: there is a general rhythm to the way the action plays out
- -relative force: general idea of how much force should be produced
what is a one dimensional system classified by
one continuum between 2 polar opposites
happy and sad
what is a closed motor skill? what is this also called?
-a skill in which an action occurs in a stable and predictable environment
-self paced skill
what is an open motor skill?
the skill in which the object acted upon the the context in which the action occurs is always changing
dribbling down a basketball court
what are the 3 dimensions of performance that can categorize all movements in a 1D system? describe them
- -the environment
- -temporal predictability
- -movement precision
describe the environment dimension of the 1D system
-the environment in which a skill is performed: if the environment is the same each time you act on it, you use closed motor skills. if the environment changes and you have to react differently to achieve a skill, you used an open motor skill
describe the temporal predictability of a skill in 1D system (3 kinds)
-temporal predicability: being able to predict the beginning and ending points of a skill
discrete: theres a clearly predictable beginning and end point (hitting a baseball)
continuous motor skill: a motor skill in which the exact beginning and ending of the skill is unpredictable (i.e. driving or walking)
serial predictability: when discrete skills are linked together so quickly (more intermediate) that they begin to mimic a continuous skill (i.e. dancing, playing piano)
describe movement precision of a skill in 1D system
fine motor skill- precision movement
gross motor skill-more muscular force is needed
explain the 2D system of taxonomy created by Gentile
-it classifies skills on the basis of 2 factors influencing performance
- -the demands placed on the individual from the environment
- -the requirements imposed by the task itself
for 2D taxonomy, what are the 2 characteristics of the environment that are considered
regulatory conditions- the features of the environment that are relevant to have successful a skill is being performed
intertrial variability-whether the regulator conditions stay the same or change from one attempt to the next
for 2D taxonomy, describe the 2 characterists of the actions required when performing a skill
body transport: if a person has to change location when performing the skill
object manipulation: is the manipulation of an object or other people required to perform the skill
what is an alpha motor neuron
A motor neuron that innervates skeletal muscle (also called a motorneuron).
An alpha motor neuron and all of the muscle fibers that it innervates.
motor unit pool
All of the motor units controlling a specific muscle
all or none law
Law stating that all of the muscle fibers of a motor unit will contract maximally when the motor neuron propagates sufficient stimulation, or none of the muscle fibers will contract in the absence of a sufficient action potential.