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Motor Control in Everyday Actions presents 47 true stories that illustrate the phenomena of motor control, learning, perception, and attention in sport, physical activity, home, and work environments. At times humorous and sometimes sobering, this unique text provides an accessible application-to-research approach to spark critical thinking, class discussion, and new ideas for research. The stories in Motor Control in Everyday Actions illustrate the diversity and complexity of research in perception and action and motor skill acquisition. More than interesting anecdotes, these stories offer concrete examples of how motor behavior, motor control, and perception and action errors affect the lives of both well-known and ordinary individuals in various situations and environments.
Readers will be entertained with real-life stories that illustrate how research in motor control is applicable to real life:
Choking Under Pressure examines information processing and how it changes under pressure.
The Gimme Putt shows how Schmidt’s law can be used to predict the accuracy of golf putts.
Turn Right at the Next Gorilla examines inattention blindness and its role in traffic accidents.
The Farmers’ Market describes reasons why a man drives his car through a crowded open-air market, killing and injuring dozens of shoppers in the process.
Craps and Weighted Bats describes the curious role of myths and superstition in how we play games.
And 42 other examples of motor control in everyday actions will both entertain and inform.
Each story is followed by a set of self-directed activities that are progressively more complex. These activities, plus the additional notes and suggested readings and websites at the conclusion of each story, provide a starting point for critical thinking about the reasons why human actions sometimes go awry. A reader-friendly writing style and easy-to-follow analysis and conclusions assist students in gaining mastery of the issues presented, conceptualizing new research projects, and applying the content to current research.
The stories are grouped into three parts, beginning with situations involving errors and mistakes in perception, action, or decision making. Next, stories investigating varied techniques for studying perception and action are presented. The remaining scenarios provide readers with a look at research focusing on the motor learning process as well as some of the unexpected discoveries resulting from those investigations.
Motor Control in Everyday Actions will engage its readers—not only through the central topic of the story but also in the fundamental concepts involving perception, action, and learning. Used as a springboard for new research or as a catalyst for engaging discussion, Motor Control in Everyday Actions offers perspectives that will enhance understanding of how human beings interact with their world.
Part I. Stories About Perception and Action Gone Wrong
Chapter 1. Perceptual Errors
The Magnetic Hill How do visual illusions distort perception and influence action?
The Farmers' Market What are the roles of motor error and hypervigilance in unintended acceleration accidents?
The Grocery Store How do population stereotypes shape our interactions with manufactured environments?
Push or Pull? How do product designs influence people to perform specific actions?
Chapter 2. Decision Errors
Friendly Fire What role did decision errors play in the death of Patrick Tillman?
Method to His Bratness Did John McEnroe's verbal abuse of line judges influence their decisions?
Choking Under Pressure What changes in information processing cause athletes such as Jean Van de Velde to fail under pressure?
Turn Right at the Next Gorilla What is inattention blindness, and what role does it play in common traffic accidents?
Chapter 3. Action Errors
The Calculator How can product designs accommodate Fitts' law?
The Gimme Putt Can Schmidt's law be used to predict the accuracy of golf putts?
Pouring Coffee How does the information-processing rate create a speed–accuracy trade-off?
Is the Bean Dizzy? What do Spoonerisms reveal about motor control?
Part II. Adventures in Perception and Action
Chapter 4. Fun With Numbers
Public Opinion Polls What do central tendency, variability, and statistical significance mean in the context of motor research?
Cutting Wood and Missing Putts How are constant error, variable error, and absolute error useful for understanding motor control?
The Hot Hand Do statistics support the existence of hot streaks in sports?
Chapter 5. Perception in Action
Red Light, Green Light What factors influence reaction time and its measurement?
Jumping the Gun How can a reaction be distinguished from an anticipation?
Antilock Brakes How does the complexity of a motor program influence reaction time?
Preventing Penalties and Batting Baseballs How do athletes use temporal and spatial anticipation?
Craps and Weighted Bats What role do perceptual illusions play in sport performance?
Chapter 6. Attention
The Toad and the Centipede Is an internal or external attentional focus better for improving performance?
The Preshot Routine Why does a consistent mental preparation ritual benefit performance?
Gumbo What are the limits of attentional capacity?
Fakes What role does the psychological refractory period play in sport?
Chapter 7. Motor Control
Websites and Silly Walks How do redundancies help us solve motor problems?
The Curling Draw What sport skills use open- and closed-loop systems of motor control?
Cool Papa Bell When vision is interrupted, how does iconic memory guide motor tasks?
Moving Sidewalks and Beer Glasses How does the end-state comfort effect influence movement planning?
The Tickle How do motor commands influence sensory feedback during motor control?
The Point of No Return Is there a point in time after which an initiated motor program cannot be stopped?
Forensic Motor Control What are generalized motor programs and what do keystroke dynamics reveal about them?
Party Tricks How does our nervous system use functional linkages to coordinate movements?
Disappearing Act What makes some coordination patterns more automatic than others?
Part III. Stories About Learning Motor Skills
Chapter 8. Measuring Motor Learning
How You Get to Carnegie Hall What is the best way to measure progress in motor learning?
The Babe Can a general motor ability be defined and measured?
Learning to Win From Losing Why is the learning-performance distinction important?
Zero-Sum Training What is the practical impact of ineffective training methods?
Chapter 9. Organizing Practice
But I Was Great on the Practice Range! How does practice repetition influence performance and learning?
The Coach as a Dictionary What roles does augmented feedback play in motor learning?
The Golfer’s Little Helper What elements of motor learning are neglected when we use mechanical training aids?
Chapter 10. Skill Development
Bend It Like Becker What types of models are best to observe when learning a skill?
Sport Snake Oils Can visual training programs improve sport performance?
The Keypad How do explicit and implicit memories influence skilled performance?
Wayne Gretzky What role does skilled perception play in sport performance?
Chapter 11. Skill Retention
Shooting Two From the Line How does the warm-up decrement affect repeated performances?
Like Riding a Bicycle How are motor skills stored in memory?
H.M. What does the amnesia suffered by Henry Gustav Molaison reveal about memory and motor skills?
A supplemental text for undergraduate and graduate motor behavior, motor learning, and motor control courses. Also a reference for academic libraries and researchers.
Timothy D. Lee, PhD, is a professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Lee, whose research on practice and motor learning has been frequently cited, is the author of more than 80 research papers in peer-reviewed publications in the area of motor control and learning. He is also the coauthor, along with Richard Schmidt, of the seminal text Motor Control and Learning: A Behavioral Emphasis, now in its fifth edition.
Lee is the former president of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology and also a former editor of both Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Journal of Motor Behavior. As an amateur golfer, Lee was ranked 22nd among senior golfers in Ontario in 2010. He also enjoys playing right wing for the Dundas Oldtimer ice hockey team and is a blues music enthusiast. Tim and his wife, Laurie Wishart, reside in Ancaster, Ontario.