Visentin, Peter

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    The 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, Gongbing
    No 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.
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    Unraveling mysteries of personal performance style; biomechanics of left-hand position changes (shifting) in violin performance
    (PeerJ, 2015) Visentin, Peter; Li, Shiming; Tardif, Guillaume; Shan, Gongbing
    Instrumental music performance ranks among the most complex of learned human behaviors, requiring development of highly nuanced powers of sensory and neural discrimination, intricate motor skills, and adaptive abilities in a temporal activity. Teaching, learning and performing on the violin generally occur within musico-cultural parameters most often transmitted through aural traditions that include both verbal instruction and performance modeling. In most parts of the world, violin is taught in a manner virtually indistinguishable from that used 200 years ago. The current study uses methods from movement science to examine the “how” and “what” of left-hand position changes (shifting), a movement skill essential during violin performance. In doing so, it begins a discussion of artistic individualization in terms of anthropometry, the performer-instrument interface, and the strategic use of motor behaviors. Results based on 540 shifting samples, a case series of 6 professional-level violinists, showed that some elements of the skill were individualized in surprising ways while others were explainable by anthropometry, ergonomics and entrainment. Remarkably, results demonstrated each violinist to have developed an individualized pacing for shifts, a feature that should influence timing effects and prove foundational to aesthetic outcomes during performance. Such results underpin the potential for scientific methodologies to unravel mysteries of performance that are associated with a performer’s personal artistic style.