Searching Through Time: Shaping Eliminates The Simple Interval-Ratio Advantage For Unimanual Tapping

Open Access
Eder, Jeffrey Ryan
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
December 08, 2010
Committee Members:
  • David A. Rosenbaum, Dissertation Advisor
  • David A. Rosenbaum, Committee Chair
  • Richard Alan Carlson, Committee Member
  • Rick Owen Gilmore, Committee Member
  • Peter Cm Molenaar, Committee Member
  • imitation
  • shaping
  • simple interval-ratio advantage
  • finger tapping
  • knowledge of results
  • representation
  • motor timing
  • motor control
  • feedback
  • rhythmic movement
The current study advances the argument that representational factors (i.e., cognition and perception) play an important role in the control of rhythmic movements. The research strategy that was used was based on the idea that it is plausible that different methods for inducing motor output engage various information processes to different degrees. The information processes thought to be engaged by a particular method for inducing motor output were then related to performance. Evidence is presented that is consistent with the hypothesis that the source of the 1:2 and 2:1 interval-ratio advantages in unimanual tapping is internal representations based on real-time sensory events associated with target performance. This is accomplished by demonstrating that the 1:2 and 2:1 advantages were observed in tasks that did not provide participants with knowledge of results or KR (i.e., imitation tasks and continuation task) and eliminated in tasks that provided participants with KR about time intervals (i.e., shaping tasks). Previous research in motor learning has suggested that participants base their internal representations on real-time sensory information when they are not provided with KR and that participants do not base their internal representations on real-time sensory information when they are provided with KR. On the other hand, the 1:1 interval-ratio advantage was observed in the current study when participants were provided with KR and also when they were not provided with KR. This finding indicates that the 1:1 advantage may have more than one contributing factor. In addition, the current study demonstrates that the influence that required time-interval-ratios had on performance in the shaping and imitation tasks was largely independent of other properties of the sets of time intervals that were tested. This is accomplished by showing that the relations between performance and required time-interval-ratios were similar in two experiments that tested the same time-interval-ratios while using different sets of time interval pairs.