A new method for tracking of motor skill learning through practical application of Fitts’ law


This article is made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.A novel upper limb motor skill measure, task productivity rate (TPR) was developed integrating speed and spatial error, delivered by a practical motor skill rehabilitation task (MSRT). This prototype task involved placement of 5 short pegs horizontally on a spatially configured rail array. The stability of TPR was tested on 18 healthy right-handed adults (10 women, 8 men, median age 29 years) in a prospective single-session quantitative within-subjects study design. Manipulations of movement rate 10% faster and slower relative to normative states did not significantly affect TPR, F(1.387, 25.009) = 2.465, p = .121. A significant linear association between completion time and error was highest during the normative state condition (Pearson's r = .455, p < .05). Findings provided evidence that improvements in TPR over time reflected motor learning with possible changes in coregulation behavior underlying practice under different conditions. These findings extend Fitts’ law theory to tracking of practical motor skill using a dexterity task, which could have potential clinical applications in rehabilitation

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