Kinesiology 1080A/B Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Developmental Coordination Disorder, Lateral Corticospinal Tract, Muscle Spindle

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Introduction to Psycho-Motor Learning
Topic #1: What is Psycho-Motor Learning?
Skeletal muscle is striated, while cardiac muscle is not (allows for forming joints)
Extrafusal muscle: contraction
Intrafusal muscle: monitor how much the extrafusal fibres have stretched (length)
o Gives a proprioceptive sense, allows for knowledge of body position
Motor Learning and Control
Motor learning: a set of internal processes associated with practice or experience, leading to a
relatively permanent gain in performance capability
Motor control: an area of study dealing with the understanding of the neural, physical, and
behavioural aspects of movement
Performance benefit: get better at performing the skill, BUT it does not mean that the skill has
been completely learned! (learning benefit)
The historical development of motor learning/control is composed of four areas. In the 1960s, it
became a real field of study:
o Psychology:
Richard Schiffrin: memory processes for motor and cognitive are distinct from
one another multi-modal system of memory
1. The brain as a computer: the serial nature of information processing
2. Memory for different tasks: motor tasks vs. cognitive tasks
o Engineering:
Arthur Melton: pilots can be selected based on specific individual abilities
A battery of tests given to recruits
Turns out he was wrong-simple tasks don’t show how one will perform
on complex ones
Paul Fitts: too many airplane accidents, the result of faulty human/machine
Forefather of the field of ergonomics- cognitive ergonomics
How we process information influences our interactions with machines
and computers spatial compatibility
o Neuroscience:
Reciprocal innervation: first understood by C.S. Sherrington
Suppresses activity of an antagonist muscle when agonist muscle is active
Explains phenomenon such as walk or reaching
Final common pathway at the spinal cord produce muscle contraction
o Education:
Franklin M. Henry examined whole body movements and developed
experimental approaches to understanding how we learn to produce complex
Motor learning: learn skills quickly, and maintain so they can expand/develop
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Topic #2: The Nervous System
Hierarchical Organization of the Central Nervous System
Classic version, over 100 years old
Think of the cerebral cortex as the ‘boss’, tells everyone else what to do and when
Thalamus, basal ganglia, the pons, and cerebellum are second in command
Brainstem is third in command, as a relay structure
Spinal cord is a slave to all of the above
o Sub-cortical structures influence the activity of the cerebral cortex
However, walking/locomotion violates the hierarchy doesn’t use cortex, only spinal cord
Startle reflex: arms come to body, trunk extends occurs so fast, that it cannot be mediated by
the cerebral cortex
Speed of Nerve Conduction
Luigi Galvani (1737-1798)
o Measured speed of conduction time in lower motor neuron (conveys information from
spinal cord to extrafusal muscle fibre)
o Previously, people had thought that movement was due to a shifting of fluid in the body
Helmholtz (1850s)
o Interested in speed of nerve conduction
o Used isolated muscle and motor nerve of a frog
o Measured time between electrical stimulation and muscle contraction (reaction time in
response, between two points, like foot-thigh)
o Nerve conduction velocity is very fast, 35-60m/s (lower motor neuron), which is about
1/10 the speed of sound speed in the spinal cord is much faster (central conduction
time is 100 m/s)
Diseases of the nerve:
o Disease of the nerve influences the amplitude of nerve conduction
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease
What happens when the amplitude of nerve impulse is diminished?
degenerative effect on lower (alpha motor) neurons
o Disease of the myelin influences conduction speed
MS destroys the myelin in patches along the CNS
Neurons and the Neuromuscular System
Types of neurons
1. Motor (efferent) neurons: transmit motor commands down the spinal cord
2. Sensory (afferent) neurons: transmit signals to, and up, the spinal cord
Functionally and anatomically distinct neuron types are important for motor control
Efferent = dorsal route, afferent = ventral route
Cortical Structures
The Cerebral Cortex/Cerebrum
o Highly developed, composed of two distinct hemispheres (mirror images of each other)
o Each hemisphere is comprised of four lobes: occipital, frontal, parietal, temporal
Phrenology and modern neuroscience: different parts of the brain contain very specific
functions/ personality traits getting back to this, in that each part has a specific function (but
not necessarily a personality trait)
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Occipital lobe:
o Centre of our vision, contains primary and secondary visual areas
o Primary visual cortex, V1, takes up most of this cortex detecting motion/colour
o David Hubel: Nobel laureate
Single cell recording of V1 in an awake cat, looked at binocular cells in V1
Blobs= colour sensitive, while interblobs= orientation sensitive (become active if
something moved across the visual field)
Measured activity of a single neuron, so was able to identify two different types
of binocular cells in V1
Second study: put a patch on a newborn kitten for the first 6 weeks of its life
never able to have binocular vision critical development period!
o Cortical blindness: patient sees without knowing what they are seeing, “blindsight”
Parietal lobe:
o Contains primary somatosensory cortex, S1, responsible for the planning and control of
o Visuospatial skills, the right lobe is for shifting visual attention
o Sensory information into movement afferent and efferent neurons interact
o Inferior parietal lobe: planning/initiating movement
o Superior parietal lobe: regulating an ongoing movement
o Lesion: ignore things in left visual space in copying and spontaneous drawing neglect,
attention system has been damaged higher-order deficit, chronic
‘prism goggles’ for treatment to reorient focus, but only lasts a couple hours
Temporal lobe:
o Function is visual object recognition
o Contains primary auditory cortex (left hemisphere)
o Location of the hippocampus (memory and learning of explicit skills, factual information,
NOT motor)
Frontal lobe:
o Functions in working memory, personality, ability to manipulate things
o Newest development in humans as a species, much larger than in non-humans
o Contains primary and secondary motor areas
o Primary motor cortex, M1: all motor information that gets to spinal cord reach M1
o Secondary areas: premotor area, and supplementary motor area (PMA, SMA)
Subcortical Structures
o Role in basic attention, arousal, consciousness, autonomic functions
o All information to and from our body passes through the brainstem on the way to or
from the brain
o Involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium,
muscle tone
o Possibly involved in working memory (memory of new motor skills)
o Thought to act as a timing mechanism in the CNS (time when a muscle should turn
o Stutter- soft deficits in cerebellum, inability to appropriately time articulators
o Cerebellar ataxia in legs = extreme extensing
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