Comparison of fractionated reaction time between cerebral palsied and non-handicapped youth Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/dz010s431

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  • The purpose of this research was to study the effects of cerebral palsy on the ability to plan and execute a gross motor movement, as measured by the fractionation of Simple Reaction Time (SRT) into its premotor (central) and motor (peripheral) components. The experimental task required subjects (N = 10 cerebral palsied, and N = 10 non-handicapped) to grasp and move a stylus with the right hand as quickly and accurately as possible to depress an endpoint target immediately following the onset of a green light. Two target sizes were used to study the effect of accuracy demands on the planning and execution of a gross motor movement. A 2 x 2 (group x target size) split-plot factorial design was used to analyze the dependent measures of premotor time, motor time, SRT, and movement time. One-factor repeated measures ANOVA were conducted for each of the dependent measures. A significant main effect for premotor time was found between groups providing empirical support for the hypothesis that spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsied youth require increased time to plan a gross motor response when compared to non-handicapped youth. Non-significant findings for motor time between groups further indicate that these differences were confined to central processing. A significant difference for movement time provided empirical support for the hypothesis that spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsied youth require increased time to execute a gross motor response when compared to non-handicapped youth. The main effect of target size was significant for the dependent measure of movement time only. A major conclusion drawn from this experimental finding was that neither cerebral palsied nor non-handicapped subjects incorporated the parameter of accuracy within the motor program but rather shifted to a closed-loop mode of operation as the accuracy demands of the task increased.
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