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The Rhythm of Running: An Analysis of Preferred Running Tempo

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The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so

The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so the purpose of this experiment is to analyze the influence of music on running from a more dynamical approach. The first experiment was a running task involving running without a metronome and running with one while setting one's own preferred running tempo. The second experiment sought to manipulate the participant's preferred running tempo by having them listen to the metronome set at their preferred tempo, 20% above their preferred tempo, or 20% below. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether or not rhythmic perturbations different to one's preferred running tempo would interfere with one's preferred running tempo and cause a change in the variability of one's running patterns as well as a change in one's running performance along the measures of step rate, stride length, and stride pace. The evidence suggests that participants naturally entrained to the metronome tempo which influenced them to run faster or slower as a function of metronome tempo. However, this change was also accompanied by a shift in the variability of one's step rate and stride length.

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2017-05

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Cognitive control processes underlying continuous and transient monitoring processes in event-based prospective memory

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A converging operations approach using response time distribution modeling was adopted to better characterize the cognitive control dynamics underlying ongoing task cost and cue detection in event based prospective memory (PM). In Experiment 1, individual differences analyses revealed that working

A converging operations approach using response time distribution modeling was adopted to better characterize the cognitive control dynamics underlying ongoing task cost and cue detection in event based prospective memory (PM). In Experiment 1, individual differences analyses revealed that working memory capacity uniquely predicted nonfocal cue detection, while proactive control and inhibition predicted variation in ongoing task cost of the ex-Gaussian parameter associated with continuous monitoring strategies (mu). In Experiments 2A and 2B, quasi-experimental techniques aimed at identifying the role of proactive control abilities in PM monitoring and cue detection suggested that low ability participants may have PM deficits during demanding tasks due to inefficient monitoring strategies, but that emphasizing importance of the intention can increase reliance on more efficacious monitoring strategies that boosts performance (Experiment 2A). Furthermore, high proactive control ability participants are able to efficiently regulate their monitoring strategies under scenarios that do not require costly monitoring for successful cue detection (Experiment 2B). In Experiments 3A and 3B, it was found that proactive control benefited cue detection in interference-rich environments, but the neural correlates of cue detection or intention execution did not differ when engaged in proactive versus reactive control. The results from the current set of studies highlight the importance of response time distribution modeling in understanding PM cost. Additionally, these results have important implications for extant theories of PM and have considerable applied ramifications concerning the cognitive control processes that should be targeted to improve PM abilities.

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Date Created
2015

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Joint action enhances motor learning

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ABSTRACT

Learning a novel motor pattern through imitation of the skilled performance of an expert has been shown to result in better learning outcomes relative to observational or physical practice. The aim of the present project was to examine if

ABSTRACT

Learning a novel motor pattern through imitation of the skilled performance of an expert has been shown to result in better learning outcomes relative to observational or physical practice. The aim of the present project was to examine if the advantages of imitational practice could be further augmented through a supplementary technique derived from my previous research. This research has provided converging behavioral evidence that dyads engaged in joint action in a familiar task requiring spatial and temporal synchrony end up developing an extended overlap in their body representations, termed a joint body schema (JBS). The present research examined if inducing a JBS between a trainer and a novice trainee, prior to having the dyad engage in imitation practice on a novel motor pattern would enhance both of the training process and its outcomes.

Participants either worked with their trainer on a familiar joint task to develop the JBS (Joint condition) or performed a solo equivalent of the task while being watched by their trainer (Solo condition). Participants In both groups then engaged in blocks of alternating imitation practice and free production of a novel manual motor pattern, while their motor output was recorded. Analyses indicated that the Joint participants outperformed the Solo participants in the ability to synchronize the spatial and temporal components of their imitation movements with the trainer’s pattern-modeling movements. The same group showed superior performance when attempting to freely produce the pattern. These results carry significant theoretical and translational potentials for the fields of motor learning and rehabilitation.

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Date Created
2015

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Regulating working memory In emotionally-laden contexts

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Individual differences in working memory capacity partly arise from variability in attention control, a process influenced by negative emotional content. Thus, individual differences in working memory capacity should be predictive of differences in the ability to regulate attention in emotional

Individual differences in working memory capacity partly arise from variability in attention control, a process influenced by negative emotional content. Thus, individual differences in working memory capacity should be predictive of differences in the ability to regulate attention in emotional contexts. To address this hypothesis, a complex-span working memory task (symmetry span) was modified so that negative arousing images or neutral images subtended the background during the encoding phase. Across three experiments, negative arousing images impaired working memory encoding relative to neutral images, resulting in impoverished symmetry span scores. Additionally, in Experiment 3, both negative and arousing images captured attention and led to increased hit rates in a subsequent recognition task. Contrary to the primary hypothesis, individual differences in working memory capacity derived from three complex span tasks failed to moderate the effect of negative arousing images on working memory encoding across two large scale studies. Implications for theories of working memory and attention control in emotional contexts will be discussed.

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2015