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Cantergi, D., Awasthi, B., & Friedman, J. (2021). Moving objects by imagination? Amount of finger movement and pendulum length determine success in the Chevreul pendulum illusion. Human Movement Science, 80, 102879.
Ezrati, O., Friedman, J., & Dar, R. (2019). Attenuation of access to internal states in high obsessive-compulsive individuals might increase susceptibility to false feedback: Evidence from a visuo-motor hand-reaching task. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 65, 101445.
Abstract: Background and objectives
The Seeking Proxies for Internal States (SPIS) model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) posits that obsessive-compulsive (OC) individuals have attenuated access to their internal states. Hence, they seek and rely on proxies, or discernible substitutes for these internal states. In previous studies, participants with high OC tendencies and OCD patients, compared to controls, showed increased reliance on external proxies and were more influenced by false feedback when judging their internal states. This study is the first to examine the effects of false feedback on performance of hand movements in participants with high and low OC tendencies.
Thirty-four participants with high OC tendencies and 34 participants with low OC tendencies were asked to perform accurate hand reaches without visual feedback in two separate sessions of a computerized hand-reaching task: once after valid feedback training of their hand location and once with false-rotated feedback. We assessed the accuracy and directional adaptation of participants' reaches.
As predicted, high OC participants evidenced a larger decrease in their hand positioning accuracy after training with false feedback compared to low OC participants.
The generalization of our findings to OCD requires replication with a clinical sample.
These results suggest that in addition to self-perceptions, motor performance of OC individuals is prone to be overly influenced by false feedback, possibly due to attenuated access to proprioceptive cues. These findings may be particularly relevant to understanding the distorted sense of agency in OCD.
Friedman, J., Raveh, E., Weiss, T., Itkin, S., Niv, D., Hani, M., et al. (2019). Applying Incongruent Visual-Tactile Stimuli during Object Transfer with Vibro-Tactile Feedback (Vol. 147).
Abstract: The application of incongruent sensory signals that involves disrupted tactile feedback is rarely explored, specifically with the presence of vibrotactile feedback (VTF). This protocol aims to test the effect of VTF on the response to incongruent visual-tactile stimuli. The tactile feedback is acquired by grasping a block and moving it across a partition. The visual feedback is a real-time virtual presentation of the moving block, acquired using a motion capture system. The congruent feedback is the reliable presentation of the movement of the block, so that the subject feels that the block is grasped and see it move along with the path of the hand. The incongruent feedback appears as the movement of the block diverts from the actual movement path, so that it seems to drop from the hand when it is actually still held by the subject, thereby contradicting the tactile feedback. Twenty subjects (age 30.2 +/- 16.3) repeated 16 block transfers, while their hand was hidden. These were repeated with VTF and without VTF (total of 32 block transfers). Incongruent stimuli were presented randomly twice within the 16 repetitions in each condition (with and without VTF). Each subject was asked to rate the difficulty level of performing the task with and without the VTF. There were no statistically significant differences in the length of the hand paths and durations between transfers recorded with congruent and incongruent visual-tactile signals – with and without the VTF. The perceived difficulty level of performing the task with the VTF significantly correlated with the normalized path length of the block with VTF (r = 0.675, p = 0.002). This setup is used to quantify the additive or reductive value of VTF during motor function that involves incongruent visual-tactile stimuli. Possible applications are prosthetics design, smart sport-wear, or any other garments that incorporate VTF.
Friedman, J., & Korman, M. (2012). Kinematic Strategies Underlying Improvement in the Acquisition of a Sequential Finger Task with Self-Generated vs. Cued Repetition Training. PLoS One, 7(12), e52063.
Abstract: Many motor skills, such as typing, consist of articulating simple movements into novel sequences that are executed faster and smoother with practice. Dynamics of re-organization of these movement sequences with multi-session training and its dependence on the amount of self-regulation of pace during training is not yet fully understood. In this study, participants practiced a sequence of key presses. Training sessions consisted of either externally (Cued) or self-initiated (Uncued) training. Long-term improvements in performance speed were mainly due to reducing gaps between finger movements in both groups, but Uncued training induced higher gains. The underlying kinematic strategies producing these changes and the representation of the trained sequence differed significantly across subjects, although net gains in speed were similar. The differences in long-term memory due to the type of training and the variation in strategies between subjects, suggest that the different neural mechanisms may subserve the improvements observed in overall performance.
Zacks, O., & Friedman, J. (2020). Analogies can speed up the motor learning process. Sci Rep, 10(1), 6932.
Abstract: Analogies have been shown to improve motor learning in various tasks and settings. In this study we tested whether applying analogies can shorten the motor learning process and induce insight and skill improvement in tasks that usually demand many hours of practice. Kinematic measures were used to quantify participant's skill and learning dynamics. For this purpose, we used a drawing task, in which subjects drew lines to connect dots, and a mirror game, in which subjects tracked a moving stimulus. After establishing a baseline, subjects were given an analogy, explicit instructions or no further instruction. We compared their improvement in skill (quantified by coarticulation or smoothness), accuracy and movement duration. Subjects in the analogy and explicit groups improved their coarticulation in the target task, while significant differences were found in the mirror game only at a slow movement frequency between analogy and controls.We conclude that a verbal analogy can be a useful tool for rapidly changing motor kinematics and movement strategy in some circumstances, although in the tasks selected it did not produce better performance in most measurements than explicit guidance. Furthermore, we observed that different movement facets may improve independently from others, and may be selectively affected by verbal instructions. These results suggest an important role for the type of instruction in motor learning.