Rowing Simulator Modulates Water Density to Foster Motor Learning

Basalp, Ekin and Marchal-Crespo, Laura and Rauter, Georg and Riener, Robert and Wolf, Peter. (2019) Rowing Simulator Modulates Water Density to Foster Motor Learning. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 6. p. 74.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/74635/

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Although robot-assisted training is present in various fields such as sports engineering and rehabilitation, provision of training strategies that optimally support individual motor learning remains as a challenge. Literature has shown that guidance strategies are useful for beginners, while skilled trainees should benefit from challenging conditions. The Challenge Point Theory also supports this in a way that learning is dependent on the available information, which serves as a challenge to the learner. So, learning can be fostered when the optimal amount of information is given according to the trainee's skill. Even though the framework explains the importance of difficulty modulation, there are no practical guidelines for complex dynamic tasks on how to match the difficulty to the trainee's skill progress. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine the impact on learning of a complex motor task by a modulated task difficulty scheme during the training sessions, without distorting the nature of task. In this 3-day protocol study, we compared two groups of naive participants for learning a sweep rowing task in a highly sophisticated rowing simulator. During trainings, groups received concurrent visual feedback displaying the requested oar movement. Control group performed the task under constant difficulty in the training sessions. Experimental group's task difficulty was modulated by changing the virtual water density that generated different heaviness of the simulated water-oar interaction, which yielded practice variability. Learning was assessed in terms of spatial and velocity magnitude errors and the variability for these metrics. Results of final day tests revealed that both groups reduced their error and variability for the chosen metrics. Notably, in addition to the provision of a very well established visual feedback and knowledge of results, experimental group's variable training protocol with modulated difficulty showed a potential to be advantageous for the spatial consistency and velocity accuracy. The outcomes of training and test runs indicate that we could successfully alter the performance of the trainees by changing the density value of the virtual water. Therefore, a follow-up study is necessary to investigate how to match different density values to the skill and performance improvement of the participants.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedical Engineering > Laser and Robotics > Bio-Inspired Robots for Medicine-Lab (Rauter)
UniBasel Contributors:Rauter, Georg
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Frontiers Media
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:21 Jan 2020 07:40
Deposited On:21 Jan 2020 07:40

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