Computational protocol: Active versus Passive Training of a Complex Bimanual Task: Is Prescriptive Proprioceptive Information Sufficient for Inducing Motor Learning?

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Protocol publication

[…] Subjects were randomly divided into three experimental groups. The first group (N = 10; 7 male, mean age: 20.8±1.8 years) practiced the required coordination task (1∶2 frequency ratio movement with 90° out of phase) actively (Active Training Group) whereas the second group (N = 10; 7 male, mean age: 21.8±2.8 years) acquired the task with passive training via the movements of the torque motors (Passive Training Group). The third group (N = 10; four male; mean age = 20.6±2.1 years) did not practice the task (Control). In both training groups, movements were practiced across 4 consecutive days, i.e., 4 sessions per day each consisting of 25 practice trials, with a duration of 20 s per trial. Following each practice session, participants received a 5 min rest interval. Four test trials were performed prior to and after completion of practice on each day. These test trials consisted of two trials (20 s/trial) in which the movement was performed actively in the absence of on-line visual and auditory information followed by two trials in which participants received visual feedback and auditory pacing (). The no-feedback test trials were included to assess the degree of preservation of the acquired coordination patterns in the absence of concurrent information feedback. The control group did not undergo training, but performed the same test trials over four consecutive days, similar to the other two groups. More specifically, each day consisted of two sessions of 4×20 s test trials that were separated by a 50 min rest period, instead of training (). This group was included to assess practice effects caused by performing the test trials only. Finally, all three groups completed a retention test consisting of four active test trials i.e., 2 trials without augmented visual feedback and auditory pacing and 2 with visual feedback and auditory pacing one week after the end of the last practice day.Participants in the passive training group were instructed to keep their wrist muscles relaxed at all times and not to resist/assist the motion induced by the torque motors during the passive training trials. To test whether participants complied with those instructions, EMG activity of the flexor (FCR) and extensor (ECR) carpi radialis of the right and left wrists was recorded. Signals were collected by means of disposable, Ag-AgCl, surface electrodes (Blue Sensor SP) that were placed over the middle portion of the muscle belly, and aligned with the longitudinal axis of the muscles. EMG signals were amplified (×1000, MEGA MSPEC 8000), bandpass filtered (4–500 Hz), sampled at 1000 Hz (Power 1404 CED device) in parallel to the motion signals and were monitored on-line by the experimenter. We did not analyze the EMG data further, as visual inspection verified that muscles were relaxed and did not show activation patterns resembling those during active movement production. […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools MUSCLE, MEGA
Application Nucleotide sequence alignment