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- ItemArticulation speaks to executive function: an investigation in 4- to 6-year olds(Frontiers Media, 2018) Netelenbos, Nicole; Gibb, Robbin L.; Li, Fangfang; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.Executive function (EF) and language learning play a prominent role in early childhood development. Empirical research continues to point to a concurrent relation between these two faculties. What has been given little attention, however, is the association between EF and speech articulation abilities in children. This study investigated this relation in children aged 4–6 years. Signiﬁcant correlations indicated that children with better EF [via parental report of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)inventory] exhibited stronger speech sound production abilities in the articulation of the “s” and “sh” sounds. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that the Global Executive Composite (GEC) of EF as measured by the BRIEF, served as a predictor for speech sound proﬁciency and that speech sound proﬁciency served as a predictor for the GEC. Together, these results demonstrate the imbricated nature of EF and speech sound production while bearing theoretical and practical implications. From a theoretical standpoint, the close link between EF and speech articulation may indicate a common ontogenetic pathway. From a practical perspective, the results suggest that children with speech difﬁculties could be at higher risk for EF deﬁcits.
- ItemAssessing visuospatial abilities in healthy aging: a novel visuometor task(Frontiers Media, 2016) de Bruin Nutley, Natalie; Bryant, Devon C.; MacLean, Jessica N.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.This study examined the efficacy of a novel reaching-and-grasping task in determining visuospatial abilities across adulthood. The task required male and female young (18–25 years) and older adults (60–82 years) to replicate a series of complex models by locating and retrieving the appropriate building blocks from an array. The task allows visuospatial complexity to be manipulated independently from the visuomotor demands. Mental rotation and spatial visualization abilities were assessed. The results showed that the time taken to complete the tasks increased with increased mental rotation complexity. Patterns of hand use were also influenced by the complexity of the models being constructed with right hand use being greater for the less complex models. In addition, although older adults consistently performed the visuomotor tasks slower than the younger adults, their performance was comparable when expressed as the percent change in task demands. This is suggestive that spatial abilities are preserved in older adults. Given the ecologically validity, the described task is an excellent candidate for investigating: (1) developmental; (2) sex-based; and (3) pathology-based differences in spatial abilities in the visuomotor domain.
- ItemBiomechanical modeling as a practical tool for predicting injury risk related to repetitive muscle lenthening during learning and training of human complex motor skills(SpringerOpen, 2016) Wan, Bingjun; Shan, GongbingPrevious studies have shown that muscle repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are often related to sport trainings among young participants. As such, understanding the mechanism of RSIs is essential for injury prevention. One potential means would be to identify muscles in risk by applying biomechanical modeling. By capturing 3D movements of four typical youth sports and building the biomechanical models, the current study has identified several risk factors related to the development of RSIs. The causal factors for RSIs are the muscle over-lengthening, the impactlike (speedy increase) eccentric tension in muscles, imbalance between agonists and antagonists, muscle loading frequency and muscle strength. In general, a large range of motion of joints would lead to over-lengthening of certain small muscles; Limb’s acceleration during power generation could cause imbalance between agonists and antagonists; a quick deceleration of limbs during follow-throughs would induce an impact-like eccentric tension to muscles; and even at low speed, frequent muscle over-lengthening would cause a micro-trauma accumulation which could result in RSIs in long term. Based on the results, the following measures can be applied to reduce the risk of RSIs during learning/training in youth participants: (1) stretching training of muscles at risk in order to increase lengthening ability; (2) dynamic warming-up for minimizing possible imbalance between agonists and antagonists; (3) limiting practice times of the frequency and duration of movements requiring strength and/or large range of motion to reducing micro-trauma accumulation; and (4) allowing enough repair time for recovery from micro-traumas induced by training (individual training time). Collectively, the results show that biomechanical modeling is a practical tool for predicting injury risk and provides an effective way to establish an optimization strategy to counteract the factors leading to muscle repetitive stress injuries during motor skill learning and training.
- ItemCaring for paid professional caregivers: investigating the health status of long-term care and assisted living facilities workers in Alberta(University of Lethbridge, 2020) Awosoga, Olu A.; Doan, Jon B.; Steinke, Claudia; Sajobi, Tolulope T.; Murphy, Sheli; Baerg, Scott; Bolarinwa, Remi; Nord, Christina; Varsanyi, Stephanie E.; Dosu, Benjamin; Lucchesi, AnnitaThis is a report on the health status of paid professional caregivers in long-term care (LTC) and Assisted Living (AL) Facilities that was carried out in Alberta Province between June 2017 and October 2019.
- ItemChange and grassroots movement: re-conceptualizing women's hockey governance in Canada(Interscience, 2007) Adams, Carly; Stevens, JulieIn Canada, female hockey governance structures vary as different regions of the country may better suit integrated or partially-integrated governance approaches based upon their unique local histories and individual dynamics. Indeed, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) is the only female hockey provincial association in Canada that endorses and endeavours to maintain a separatist philosophy. However, women’s hockey governance in Canada as a whole has not progressed in a manner where the authority of female hockey participants and leaders has increased. This paper initiates dialogue about women’s sport governance by utilising women’s hockey in Canada and specifically a case study of the OWHA, as a context in which to develop a new perspective and renew efforts to place women’s sport governance on the agenda. In order to develop a sport and governance dialogue for women’s hockey specifically and women’s sport more broadly, we present a theoretical discussion that integrates critical feminist and grassroots movement perspectives.
- ItemThe contributions of vision and haptics to reaching and grasping(Frontiers Media, 2015) Stone, Kayla D.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.This review aims to provide a comprehensive outlook on the sensory (visual and haptic) contributions to reaching and grasping. The focus is on studies in developing children, normal, and neuropsychological populations, and in sensory-deprived individuals. Studies have suggested a right-hand/left-hemisphere specialization for visually guided grasping and a left-hand/right-hemisphere specialization for haptically guided object recognition. This poses the interesting possibility that when vision is not available and grasping relies heavily on the haptic system, there is an advantage to use the left hand. We review the evidence for this possibility and dissect the unique contributions of the visual and haptic systems to grasping. We ultimately discuss how the integration of these two sensory modalities shape hand preference.
- ItemEvidence for right-handed feeding biases in a left-handed population(Taylor & Francis, 2015) Flindall, Jason W.; Stone, Kayla D.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.We have recently shown that actions with similar kinematic requirements but different end-state goals may be supported by distinct neural networks. Specifically, we demonstrated that when right-handed individuals reach-to-grasp food items with intent to eat, they produce smaller maximum grip apertures (MGAs) than when they grasp the same item with intent to place it in a location near the mouth. This effect was restricted to right-handed movements; left-handed movements showed no difference between tasks. The current study investigates whether (and to which side) the effect may be lateralized in left-handed individuals. Twenty-one self-identified left-handed participants grasped food items of three different sizes while grasp kinematics were captured via an Optotrak Certus motion capture array. A main effect of task was identified wherein the grasp-to-eat action generated significantly smaller MGAs than did the grasp-to-place action. Further analysis revealed that similar to the findings in right-handed individuals, this effect was significant only during right-handed movements. Upon further inspection however, we found individual differences in the magnitude and direction of the observed lateralization. These results underscore the evolutionary significance of the grasp-to-eat movement in producing population-level right-handedness in humans as well as highlighting the heterogeneity of the left-handed population.
- ItemFactors influencing the effectiveness of axe kick in taekwon-do(Archives of Budo, 2014) Wasik, Jacek; Shan, GongbingBackground: Taekwon-do is famous for its powerful kicking techniques and the axe kick is the challenging one, aiming at kicking high section of an opponent. The relevance of the skill in the traditional version of taekwon-do is that a single strike might happen to reveal the winner. The main aims of the study were 1) the kinematic characteristics of the axe kick using motion capture technology and 2) the kinematics conditions leading to maximization of kick effectiveness. Material & Methods: Six International Taekwon-do Federation (ITF) practitioners participated in the study and each of them performed the axe kick (neryo chagi) three times. Using a 3D motion capture technology, selected parameters such as maximum kick foot velocity, durations of take-off, the upswing, the downswing as well as the whole kick and the kick leg angle at maximum velocity were quantitatively determined. The basic descriptive statistics (means & standard deviations) and correlation analyses were performed for revealing the dominant factors related to the kick. Results: The results indicate that the maximum kick power appears around 45º of the kick leg to vertical direction or 85-89% of one’s body height (i.e. the optimal offence/attack height) during the downswing. The variation of the optimal offense height depends on one’s body height, gender and race. And the keys for increasing the kick effectiveness are balanced weight transfer, large hip ROM for pre-lengthening hip extensors and follows an explosive foot downswing for maximizing kick-foot power. Conclusions: The above observations: the maximal kick power occurs around 45° of the kick-leg to the vertical direction during the downswing; shortening the downswing phase could increase the axe kick quality further.
- ItemFunctional improvements associated with upper extremity motor stimulation in individuals with Parkinson's disease(Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, 2015) Bartoshyk, Patrick J.; De Bruin, Natalie; Brown, Lesley A.; Doan, Jon B.Background: While traditional neurotherapy promotes motor function in people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), the benefits may be limited by compounding physical, cognitive, and attentional barriers. Since the nontraditional exercise of ice-skating is proving to positively influence motor function and postural control, the purpose of this study was to explore whether the addition of an upper body sensory-driven motor coordination task (stickhandling) would provide upper extremity neuromotor benefit among people with moderate PD. Methods: Seven non-PD control (CTRL) and 22 PD (14 ON-ICE, 8 OFF-ICE) participants completed three trials of a reaching-to-eat (fine motor) task and a button-push (gross motor) task, PRE-and POST-completion of two dynamic – either on- or off-ice – stickhandling tasks. Reaching-to-eat and button-push scores were compared between time periods (PRE, POST) and groups (CTRL, PD ON-ICE, PD OFF-ICE). Results: CTRL participants demonstrated higher scores when compared to the PD groups. Both PD groups demonstrated an improvement in reaching-to-eat and button-push scores immediately following the intervention. Conclusions: These findings suggest that sport-derived exercise programs may provide neuromotor benefit to people living with PD.
- ItemGetting the right grasp on executive function(Frontiers, 2014) Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.; Mills, Kelly J.; Genee, Inge; Li, Fangfang; Piquette-Tomei, Noëlla A.; Rosen, Nicole; Gibb, Robbin L.Executive Function (EF) refers to important socio-emotional and cognitive skills that are known to be highly correlated with both academic and life success. EF is a blanket term that is considered to include self-regulation, working memory, and planning. Recent studies have shown a relationship between EF and motor control. The emergence of motor control coincides with that of EF, hence understanding the relationship between these two domains could have significant implications for early detection and remediation of later EF deficits. The purpose of the current study was to investigate this relationship in young children. This study incorporated the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and two motor assessments with a focus on precision grasping to test this hypothesis.The BRIEF is comprised of two indices of EF: (1) the Behavioral Regulation Index (BRI) containing three subscales: Inhibit, Shift,and Emotional Control; (2) the Metacognition Index (MI) containing five subscales: Initiate, Working Memory, Plan/Organize, Organization of Materials, and Monitor. A global executive composite (GEC) is derived from the two indices. In this study, right-handed children aged 5–6 and 9–10 were asked to: grasp-to-construct (Lego®models); and grasp-to-place (wooden blocks), while their parents completed the BRIEF questionnaire. Analysis of results indicated significant correlations between the strength of right hand preference for grasping and numerous elements of the BRIEF including the BRI, MI, and GEC. Specifically, the more the right hand was used for grasping the better the EF ratings. In addition, patterns of space-use correlated with the GEC in several subscales of the BRIEF. Finally and remarkably, the results also showed a reciprocal relationship between hand and space use for grasping and EF. These findings are discussed with respect to: (1) the developmental overlap of motor and executive functions; (2) detection of EF deficits through tasks that measure lateralization of hand and space use; and (3) the possibility of using motor interventions to remediate EF deficits.
- ItemGrasping without sight: insights from the congenitally blind(Public Library of Science, 2014) Stone, Kayla D.; Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.We reach for and grasp different sized objects numerous times per day. Most of these movements are visually-guided, but some are guided by the sense of touch (i.e. haptically-guided), such as reaching for your keys in a bag, or for an object in a dark room. A marked right-hand preference has been reported during visually-guided grasping, particularly for small objects. However, little is known about hand preference for haptically-guided grasping. Recently, a study has shown a reduction in right-hand use in blindfolded individuals, and an absence of hand preference if grasping was preceded by a short haptic experience. These results suggest that vision plays a major role in hand preference for grasping. If this were the case, then one might expect congenitally blind (CB) individuals, who have never had a visual experience, to exhibit no hand preference. Two novel findings emerge from the current study: first, the results showed that contrary to our expectation, CB individuals used their right hand during haptically-guided grasping to the same extent as visually-unimpaired (VU) individuals did during visually-guided grasping. And second, object size affected hand use in an opposite manner for haptically- versus visually-guided grasping. Big objects were more often picked up with the right hand during hapticallyguided, but less often during visually-guided grasping. This result highlights the different demands that object features pose on the two sensory systems. Overall the results demonstrate that hand preference for grasping is independent of visual experience, and they suggest a left-hemisphere specialization for the control of grasping that goes beyond sensory modality
- ItemHand preference across the lifespan: effects of end-goal, task nature, and object location(Frontiers Media, 2015) Gonzalez, Claudia L. R.; Flindall, Jason W.; Stone, Kayla D.In the present study we investigate age-related changes in hand preference for grasping and the influence of task demands on such preference. Children (2–11), young-adults (17–28) and older-adults (57–90 ) were examined in a grasp-to-eat and a grasp-to-construct task. The end-goal of these tasks was different (eat vs.construct) as was the nature of the task(unimanual vs. bimanual). In both tasks,ipsilateral and contralateral grasps were analyzed. Results showed a right-hand preference that did not change with age. Across the three age groups, a more robust right-hand preference was observed for the unimanual, grasp-to-eat task. To disentangle if the nature (unimanual) or the end-goal (grasp-to-eat) was the driver of the robust right-hand preference,a followup experiment was conducted.Young-adult participants completed a unimanual grasp-to-place task. This was contrasted with the unimanual grasp-to-eat task and the bimanual grasp-to-construct task.Rates of hand preference for the grasp-to-eat task remained the highest when compared to the other two grasping tasks. Together, the results demonstrate that hand preference remains stable from childhood to older adulthood, and they suggest that a left hemisphere specialization exists for grasping, particularly when bringing food to the mouth.
- ItemHow can physical activity improve your health & well-being?(2020) Pope, Paige
- ItemHow can physical activity participation get you the body you want?(2020) Pope, Paige
- ItemThe impact of eHealth group interventions on the mental, behavioral, and physical health of adults: A systematic review protocol(BioMed Central, 2020) Currie, Cheryl L.; Larouche, Richard; Voss, M. Lauren; Higa, Erin K.; Spiwak, Rae; Scott, David R.; Tallow, TreenaBackground: COVID-19 has resulted in an increased demand for eHealth services globally. There is emerging evidence for the efficacy for group eHealth interventions that support population-based mental health and wellbeing, but a systematic review is lacking. The primary objective of this systematic review is to summarize the evidence for eHealth group counseling and coaching programs for adults. A second objective is to assess, within studies selected for our primary objective, the impact of programs that encourage PA on outcomes compared to those that do not. Methods: Randomized controlled trials that assess the impact of eHealth group counseling or coaching programs on mental health, health behavior, or physical health activity among community-dwelling adults will be included. We will search the following electronic databases (from January 2005 onwards): MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINHAL, and the Central Register of Controlled Trials. The primary outcomes will be changes in mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, stress, quality of life), behavioral health conditions (e.g., substance use, smoking, sexual behavior, eating behavior, medication adherence), and physical health conditions (e.g., coping with cancer, menopausal symptoms, arthritis pain). Secondary outcomes will be changes in physical activity. Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. Potential conflicts will be resolved through discussion with a third reviewer. A narrative synthesis without meta-analysis will be conducted. The strength of the body of evidence will be assessed using GRADE. The risk of bias in individual studies will be appraised using the Cochrane Risk of Bias 2.0 tool. Potential sources of gender bias in included studies will be considered at all stages of the planned review. Discussion: This review will contribute to the literature by providing evidence on the effectiveness of eHealth counseling and coaching programs delivered to adults in a group format.
- ItemThe influence of X-factor (trunk rotation) and experience on the quality of the badminton forehand smash(De Gruyter Open, 2016) Zhang, Zhao; Li, Shiming; Wan, Bingjun; Visentin, Peter; Jiang, Qinxian; Dyck, Mary; Li, Hua; Shan, GongbingNo existing studies of badminton technique have used full-body biomechanical modeling based on three dimensional (3D) motion capture to quantify the kinematics of the sport. The purposes of the current study were to: 1) quantitatively describe kinematic characteristics of the forehand smash using a 15-segment, full-body biomechanical model, 2) examine and compare kinematic differences between novice and skilled players with a focus on trunk rotation (the X-factor), and 3) through this comparison, identify principal parameters that contributed to the quality of the skill. Together, these findings have the potential to assist coaches and players in the teaching and learning of the forehand smash. Twenty-four participants were divided into two groups (novice, n = 10 and skilled, n = 14). A 10-camera VICON MX40 motion capture system (200 frames/s) was used to quantify full-body kinematics, racket movement and the flight of the shuttlecock. Results confirmed that skilled players utilized more trunk rotation than novices. In two ways, trunk rotation (the X-factor) was shown to be vital for maximizing the release speed of the shuttlecock – an important measure of the quality of the forehand smash. First, more trunk rotation invoked greater lengthening in the pectoralis major (PM) during the preparation phase of the stroke which helped generate an explosive muscle contraction. Second, larger range of motion (ROM) induced by trunk rotation facilitated a whip-like (proximal to distal) control sequence among the body segments responsible for increasing racket speed. These results suggest that training intended to increase the efficacy of this skill needs to focus on how the X-factor is incorporated into the kinematic chain of the arm and the racket.
- Item'Jumping like a girl': Discursive silences, exclusionary practices, and the controversy over women's ski jumping(Taylor and Francis, 2010) Laurendeau, Jason; Adams, CarlyThis paper considers the recent International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to deny women the opportunity to compete in ski jumping at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Drawing on a feminist Foucauldian framework, we suggest that the Olympics is a discourse that constructs excellence and fairness as “within the true,” with the IOC protesting that this recent decision is not about gender, but about the upholding of Olympic ideals. We interrogate three conspicuous absences in this discourse, each of which trouble the IOC’s claim that this decision is not evidence of gender discrimination. In particular, we contextualize this decision within the risk discourses upon which the IOC has historically drawn on denying women’s participation in particular Olympic events, arguing that the discursive silence around the issue of risk points to “old wine in new bottles” as the IOC dresses up the same paternalistic practices in new garb. We conclude with a consideration of these discursive structures as more than simply oppressive of women. Instead, they may also be understood as indicative of the ‘problem’ posed by women, especially those who threaten the gender binary that pervades many sporting structures. Finally, these structures signal opportunities for resistance and subversion as women act to shed light on the discursive silences upon which structures of domination rest.
- ItemKinematics of the turning kick: measurements obtained in testing well-trained taekwon-do athletes(Archives of Budo, 2015) Wasik, Jacek; Shan, GongbingBackground & Study Aim: The aim of the paper is the influence of selected kinematic factors on the turning kick technique. This issue is practically relevant in the traditional version of taekwon-do, where an effectively performed strike may divulge the winner. Material & Method: Using 3D motion capture technology, six International Taekwon-do Federation athletes were tested. Biomechanical parameters related to range of motion, kick power and kick time were applied in the analyses. The athletes executed the turning kick three times in a way typically applied in a board breaking kick. The quantification focused on the speed changes related to kicking leg extension, the maximum knee and foot velocities in the Cartesian coordinate system and the total time of kick execution. The descriptive statistics (i.e. average values and the standard deviations) and correlation analysis were applied in data analysis. Results: The results have shown that the effect of the kick is mainly represented by component of kick foot velocity in frontal – and lateral-directions. The correlation analyses unveil that the maximal knee speeds reached in frontal – and lateral-directions as well as foot take-off velocity in frontal – and vertical-directions are highly correlated to kick foot effectiveness (r = 0.60 to 0.87). The analysis of velocity development in relation to kick leg extension divulges that the maximal velocity occurs around 80% of a full leg extension. Conclusion: For increasing kick effectiveness, athletes should work on the foot take-off velocity, the dynamics of the knee motion and consider the optimum kick length for kicking power maximization.
- ItemLearn how to make physical activity part of your healthy lifestyle(2020) Pope, Paige