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Title:Efficiency and Motor Skill Learning (Locomotion, Physical, Physiology, Evolution, Practice)
Author(s):Sparrow, William Anthony
Department / Program:Physical Education
Discipline:Physical Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Psychology, Experimental
Abstract:Improvements in mechanical efficiency (E%) and transport efficiency (cal/m/kg) with practice, were investigated using 5 physically fit adult male subjects crawling on a horizontal motor-driven treadmill at .76 m/s. E% was the ratio of the work output of individual limb segments, based on a link segment model, to metabolic energy expenditure measured using indirect calorimetry. A repeated measures ANOVA showed a significant increase in transport efficiency but no reliable change in E% after 20 3 min trials. Nevertheless, there was an overall improvement in E% of 13.7% by the last day of practice. It was argued that this improvement in efficiency was greater than that expected due to physiological training effects. E% and transport efficiency were significantly correlated (Pearson's r) with hand and foot step length. This suggested that with practice subjects established step lengths that represented an economical adaptation to the task constraints. Following these 20 trials subjects undertook trials with the treadmill inclined (INCL) and declined (DECL) (14% grade) and a trial at a freely-chosen grade FC. Contrary to the hypothesised result, E% and transport efficiency for DECL were greater than INCL. FC produced the higher E% and transport efficiency than INCL or DECL but was lower on both measures than the last day of horizontal crawling. Analysis of thigh-shank relative motions showed significant changes in the pattern of coordination with practice, as shown by a significant reduction in the peak value of the angle-angle cross-correlation function. The gait pattern was compared to that for human infants crawling and to the gait pattern for non-human primates. Theoretical perspectives on the coordination and control of movement were discussed and it was proposed that the propensity to minimize metabolic energy expenditure could be a fundamental organizing principle of movement control.
Issue Date:1985
Type:Text
Description:205 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/71879
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8600320
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1985


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