Effects of dynamic and isometric motor practice on position control, force control and corticomuscular coherence in preadolescent children

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In this study, we investigated the effects of motor practice with an emphasis on either position or force control on motor performance, motor accuracy and variability in preadolescent children. Furthermore, we investigated corticomuscular coherence and potential changes following motor practice. 

We designed a setup allowing discrete wrist flexions of the non-dominant hand and tested motor accuracy and variability when the task was to generate specific movement endpoints (15-75 deg) or force levels (5-25% MVC). All participants were tested in both tasks at baseline and post motor practice without augmented feedback on performance. Following baseline assessment, participants (44 children aged 9-11 years) were randomly assigned to either position (PC) or force control (FC) motor practice or a resting control group (CON). The PC and FC groups performed four blocks of 40 trials motor practice with augmented feedback on performance. 

Following practice, improvements in movement accuracy were significantly greater in the PC group compared to the FC and CON groups (p < 0.001). None of the groups displayed changes in force task performance indicating no benefits of force control motor practice and low transfer between tasks (p-values:0.08-0.45). Corticomuscular coherence (C4-FCR) was demonstrated during the hold phase in both tasks with no difference between tasks. Corticomuscular coherence did not change from baseline to post practice in any group. Our findings demonstrate that preadolescent children improve position control following dynamic accuracy motor practice. Contrary to previous findings in adults, preadolescent children displayed smaller or no improvements in force control following isometric motor practice, low transfer between tasks and no changes in corticomuscular coherence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Movement Science
Pages (from-to)103114
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Motor learning, Motor control, Position control, Force control, Visual feedback, Sensory-motor training, Coherence

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