The Temporal Structure of the Forward Roll: Inter- and Intra-Limb Coordination

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathleen Williams, Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Investigations of the temporal structure of actions like walking, running, and hopping have given us information about movement's underlying structure. 'Rules' governing the timing of these cyclic, repetitive skills might be similar to those found for other actions. The forward roll was selected for study because there had been some previous investigation of the course of its development (Williams 1980). Children, aged 5, 7, and 9 years participated in this study. Analysis of the absolute and relative timing of selected actions revealed no statistical differences. A subset of these data was digitized to permit a deeper analysis of the rolling action. Correlation coefficients examining inter- and intra-limb timing relationships suggested the presence of tight coupling between segments in young children. Linkages were found between hip and leg segments as well as between hand contact and leg action. Magnitudes of correlations fell across the ages tested. This pattern of differences suggested that young children constrained their body segments more tightly than older subjects, to offset control problems like balance. Older subjects were more willing, or able to remain off balance for longer periods, in order to build greater speed during performance.

Additional Information

Human Movement Science, 6, 373-387.
Language: English
Date: 1987
Motor coordination, Movement structure, Children, Component actions

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