The Effect of Haptic Guidance on Learning a Hybrid Rhythmic-Discrete Motor Task

Marchal Crespo, Laura; Bannwart, Mathias; Riener, Robert; Vallery, Heike (2015). The Effect of Haptic Guidance on Learning a Hybrid Rhythmic-Discrete Motor Task. IEEE transactions on haptics, 8(2), pp. 222-234. IEEE 10.1109/TOH.2014.2375173

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Bouncing a ball with a racket is a hybrid rhythmic-discrete motor task, combining continuous rhythmic racket movements with discrete impact events. Rhythmicity is exceptionally important in motor learning, because it underlies fundamental movements such as walking. Studies suggested that rhythmic and discrete movements are governed by different control mechanisms at different levels of the Central Nervous System. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of fixed/fading haptic guidance on learning to bounce a ball to a desired apex in virtual reality with varying gravity. Changing gravity changes dominance of rhythmic versus discrete control: The higher the value of gravity, the more rhythmic the task; lower values reduce the bouncing frequency and increase dwell times, eventually leading to a repetitive discrete task that requires initiation and termination, resembling target-oriented reaching. Although motor learning in the ball-bouncing task with varying gravity has been studied, the effect of haptic guidance on learning such a hybrid rhythmic-discrete motor task has not been addressed. We performed an experiment with thirty healthy subjects and found that the most effective training condition depended on the degree of rhythmicity: Haptic guidance seems to hamper learning of continuous rhythmic tasks, but it seems to promote learning for repetitive tasks that resemble discrete movements.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Marchal Crespo, Laura and Riener, Robert


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Angela Amira Botros

Date Deposited:

19 Jun 2018 10:48

Last Modified:

19 Jun 2018 10:48

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