Motor preparation and the effects of practice: Evidence from startle.

MSL research field: 
Skill acquisition
Motor control
TitleMotor preparation and the effects of practice: Evidence from startle.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMaslovat, D, Hodges, NJ, Chua, R, Franks, IM
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Pagination226 - 240
Date Published2011

To examine sequential movement preparation, participants practiced unimanual movements that differed in amplitude and number of elements for four days in either a simple (Expt. 1) or choice (Expt. 2) reaction time (RT) paradigm. On day 1 and 4, a startling stimulus was used to probe the preparation process. For simple RT, we found increased premotor RT for the two component movement during control trials on day 1, which was minimized with practice. During startle trials, all movements were triggered at a short latency with similar consistency to control trials, suggesting full advance preparation of all movements. For choice RT, we also found increased premotor RT for control trials for the two component movement. As advance preparation could not occur, the startling stimulus did not trigger any of the movements. We hypothesized that complexity may relate to the neural commands needed to produce the movement, rather than a sequencing requirement.

Short TitleBehavioral Neuroscience
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