Motor Learning Research Paper

Motor learning can be related to many different fields of Kinesiology, but specifically, motor learning has a great impact in the field of Physical Therapy. In the field of Physical Therapy, patients that come in to receive treatment usually suffer from an injury, physical disability, or disease that has caused them to have a difficult time performing certain motor skills that are necessary for daily life living or for a certain activity. Motor Learning mostly deals with the relearning of motor skills or enhancing the performance of a motor skill because of an injury or disease that has occurred (Magill & Anderson, 3).

One example is that a patient who has suffered from a torn ACL in their left knee will have to relearn how to walk again after not being able to walk. It can be difficult for the patient to execute the skill in the beginning because adding a lot of pressure on the left knee might be very difficult for them, but with some help in rehab and lot of practice, the injured patient will be able to go through an easy and quickly recovery and will get back into running and walking normally again. Motor Learning can occur in the physical therapy setting for people of all ages.

In this paper, I will be talking about each population because I would certainly love to work with a variety of patients one day. I will also need to understand the situation they are in so that I can figure out the ideal plan of action to take and how they can benefit from it. In my chosen profession, I will have the chance of working in a rehabilitation facility for seniors who are sixty years or older. With a patient that recently had knee surgery, I will need to find ways to have the elders practice walking on a treadmill and slowly pave their way to a jogging speed on the treadmill.

After the physical therapy session, hopefully, they will be able to go on with their daily lives and adjust to their environment using open motor skills with intertrial variability. An open motor skill deals with how the environment around the person will determine when the action begins and intertrial variability deals with how the environment conditions will be regulatory when the performance of a skill can change (Magill & Anderson, 13, 17).

One specific example of this is a treadmill can be used to show how the person is doing and at different trials, one can see if the performance of the skill changes through intertrial variability when the patient begins with walking and then moves to jogging. It is also an open skill in this situation because the treadmill determines when the person starts moving and also when they need to speed up, slow down or come to a stop.

Giving the patient an opportunity to practice with an open skill will definitely help the patient out when they get back into the environment, which will then be determined when they begin to walk and also at what speed. To continue my focus on the increasing population of seniors, I know many of them who have suffered from strokes. Relearning motor skills are vital for them and it is defined as a task or skill that is to be achieved when a person is in control of their body parts (Magill & Anderson, 3).

For me, I want to help them improve their motor skill of being able to stand up by themselves; from sitting in a chair or a wheelchair using different set of exercises specific for their needs. A few performance outcomes I could use to access their performance would be to measure the time it takes for them to complete the task, the amount of error they made, time on and off balance, and the repetitions or trials it took for them before they were able to finish the task and do it efficiently well. The important aspect of this exercise in order to analyze and pay attention Ily to is the patient’s reaction time and movement time.

A person’s reaction time deals with how fast they respond to the signal that I give them and movement time is how long the carefully to is th person takes from the beginning of the movement until the time they complete it (Magill & Anderson, 29). Reaction times for people can vary and according to a research article that was done on reaction time, depending on age and education, it shows that people who have a higher degree of education have quicker reaction times even when they are older compared to those that did not achieve a degree of higher education (Tun & Lachman, 11).

With this information, I am able to figure out why some patients will have longer reaction times than other patients and create their ideal therapy sessions accordingly. Through trials, I will time their reaction and movement time to see if there is any progress and modify the exercises accordingly. The advantages for checking the time that it takes for the patients to complete the task would be that there is some sort of progress and it takes a shorter amount of time for the patients once they get used to the things they have to do.

One disadvantage would be how timing the patients is frustrating to them because they might not feel comfortable with competing against time. In this situation, I will not reveal to the patients the information of how long it took for them to complete it, but instead, encourage them. Another way to determine if improvements are being made in practice is measuring the amount of error with each trial. Absolute error is one error that can be used to evaluate the patient’s performance by finding the absolute difference through a total of every performance practiced at that time (Magill & Anderson, 33).

Calculating the absolute error shows whether the goal was met or not and how successful it was after a few trials. This can assist the physical therapist to see what are the things that can be worked on and how they can help out the patient so that improvements can be made. One example is a person throwing a ball to a target I have laid out in front of them. The patients can perform multiple repetitions and I can take the total of how many misses they had and divide the total by the number of repetitions.

This will show the patients the verage absolute error that has occurred in the performance and it will give them the general idea if they need to change the way they throw or work on their aiming skills. Variable error can also be used in this case because it shows whether or not the performance is consistent (Magill & Anderson, 33). The patient could possibly be making a constant error that could be fixed or they might be slightly off in area of their movement. This could help the physical therapist in choosing how to change up or correct the movement.

The advantages of having a few trials comes like seeing how much progress is being made, giving the patient a chance to practice and try to get use to the movement, and teaching them better, ideal ways in which they can quickly accomplish the task. The disadvantages could be that it will be difficult to encourage the patient to do more trials if they do not feel motivated or they might not be able to finish the task. Coming back to the situation with working with the elders on their ability to stand up from a chair, I would focus on some of the outcome measures.

One example is that I would measure the amount of time it takes for the person to complete the task, the amount of errors they have, and have them perform multiple trials. Measuring the time would be helpful because it really helps and encourages the patient to get better every time they try to get out of the wheelchair or chair on their own. It can also be important to measure how much they are progressing. The amount of errors can be very important because it shows how I can help them make corrections in order for them to achieve the goal or find a better way of accomplishing the task.

Having them do multiple trials will help with repeating the same movement that will give the patient lots of practice and it can hopefully one day become second nature. To assist me in assessing the patient’s performance, I can use a kinematic measure of videotaping them doing the motion and seeing the displacement of the different body parts or joints the patient is using in a particular activity. The word Kinematics deal with acceleration, velocity, and displacement, which helps the performer understand what their body is doing in the movement exactly (Magill & Anderson, 37).

With this, I can also find the speed of the task by writing down the time it takes them to do the movement and using the measured displacement. When videotaping the person, I would use the LED balls and place it at specific body parts or joint segments | am looking specifically at. This technique is called the point-light technique. It is often used in research to record the light movement patterns so that others can see which joints or body parts are used to finish an action (Magill & Anderson, 321).

This information can assist me in seeing which body part needs a little bit more improvement because they can be stronger in one leg or if their arms might not be strong enough for them to push their body weight appropriately. By using the videotaping method, I can be able to rewind or fast forward and focus on certain spots that might need more work try my very best to correct and fix whatever is wrong so that there would be improvement in the patient’s performance.

Another problem patients who recently suffered from a stroke may not have the ability to take control over one side of their body because the stroke damaged part of their brain. My job would be to help them relearn and teach them how to use a specific arm or leg that was damaged during the stroke. Suffering a mild stroke to half of their brain can cause a person/ patient to lose control over one side of their body. A skill I can focus on to