LOADED PRACTICE IMPROVES THE FIRST TRIAL OF UNLOADED WORK IN A NOVEL TASK
Kurrant, A. B., & Kerner, M. S. (2002). Loaded practice affects unloaded movement time but not reaction time. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 226.
This investigation ascertained the effect of loaded movement practice on subsequent reaction time and movement time performance with the additional load removed. College students (M = 10; F = 10) performed an arm extension as quickly as possible in response to an auditory stimulus. Warm-up trials (20) were followed by 50 trials alternating between five trials with and without a 5 lb wrist weight. Each trial was followed by a 20-s recovery period with 60 seconds between each set of five trials.
It was found that the first trial of the unloaded movement after loaded practices was faster than the following four trials in the unloaded condition. Reaction time was similar under both conditions and for both genders.
[This was a novel task and so learning could confound this investigation. The effect of loaded practice on skilled activities generally has been demonstrated to alter the skill and depreciate performance.]
Implication. In a novel task, loaded practice stimulated a faster movement in the first unloaded trial following the loaded experience.
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