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Acute Effects of Real Execution and Motor Imagery of Fitts’s Law Tasks On Near and Far Transfer of Learning: A Study Protocol
Motor imagery, a mental simulation of a movement with no muscle contraction, is often used as an alternative practice to improve general motor tasks. However, the effects of motor imagery interventions on near and far transfer of learning remain equivocal and without consistent findings. Fitts’s law is a predictive model widely used in the literature to evaluate the relationship between speed and accuracy in directed movement actions. In this model, movement time increases with increasing movement amplitude and target width. This study aims to advance the understanding about motor imagery practice on near and far transfer of learning creating a valid protocol with the Fitts’s law.
We developed a pre- and post-assessment experimental study with a 20-minute Fitts’s law intervention performed under three different conditions: motor imagery, real execution, and backward counting. During the intervention participants needs to perform Fitts’s law tasks under four indexes of difficulties spread into different task patterns. Altogether eighty reps need to be executed. After a baseline screening (basic anthropometrics, physical activity, and movement imagery questionnaire), the pre-assessment consists of a lower and upper limb Fitts’s law tasks performed under three different indexes of difficulties. The same assessment needs to be executed post intervention. The evaluation involves performance outcomes (time needed to complete the task) and autonomic responses assessed with the NeXus-10 MKII (Mindmedia, Netherland) system.
We believe the new protocol with the Fitts’s law task will extend the knowledge about motor imagery and the potential impact on motor learning. Due to its innovative approach, this method has the potential to form a template for subsequent studies in this field.