Intentional control and biomechanical exploitation in preparatory handwriting
SourceHuman Movement Science, 30, 4, (2011), pp. 687-697
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ DCC BO
Human Movement Science
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
In this study it was investigated how primary school children perform a graphomotor task which required them to simultaneously achieve multiple movement goals. Thirty-four 1st-grade primary school children were asked to produce with an electronic ink pen loop patterns varying in height (3, 6, 9 and 12 mm) on preprinted sheets of paper attached to a digitizer tablet. The task was paced by means of an acoustic signal of either 1.2 or 3 Hz. The children were instructed to attain both the imposed amplitude and frequency. By focusing on how local parameter errors changed from one movement to the next, exploitation of biomechanics when the children respected the inverse relationship between movement amplitude and frequency was distinguished from deliberate, cognitive control when the children succeeded in overriding the inverse relationship between movement amplitude and frequency. The results show that children, like adults, exploit biomechanics to a considerable extent. Coupling strength between the acoustic pacing signal and the pen-tip movements increased with age, whereas the temporal errors decreased. The study shows that preparatory writers can pursue multiple movement goals simultaneously at lower speeds but at higher speeds their capacity to do so is reduced.
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