Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MSc)

Department

Kinesiology

Faculty/School

Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Not Applicable

Advisor Role

Not Applicable

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine if a long-term training program could improve non-preferred limb performance on a battery of standard tasks (Annett Pegboard, Grooved Pegboard Place and Remove Phase) and non-standard tasks (Scroll Task and Line-crossing Task). Upon completion of the training sessions, two new tasks were introduced, Finger Tapping and Fitt’s Law Task, to examine if any performance improvements could be transferred. A second purpose of the study was to learn if a training program could increase the perceived comfort in using the non-preferred hand on the same testing tasks. Participants were assigned to a 1-week training group (3 sessions over 7 days, N = 21), 3-week training group (9 sessions over 21 days, N = 15) or no training control group (N = 20). Training sessions were derived based on the suggestions of the Ackland and Hendrie (2005) study and consisted of 20-30 minute sessions with a focus of non-preferred limb training on multiple tasks. Post-training testing found that though the non-preferred hand never does reach an on par performance with the preferred hand at the same point in time, the Grooved Pegboard Place phase and Scroll tasks, both had significant improvements in non-preferred hand performance over the course of the study. The training was task dependent, as no transfer of training was found on the two transfer tasks. Perceived comfort also improves with repeated exposure to a task, though training and hand improvements were not determining factors, as there were no group differences between tests. The results suggested that a training period of 2- to 3-weeks was all that was required to see improvements in the non-preferred hand, but the learning does appear to be task specific.

Convocation Year

2008

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