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Art in Motion

Musical and Athletic Motor Learning and Performance

Edited By Adina Mornell

Musicians tend to believe that the mystery of their art cannot be objectively studied, quantified, or explained. As a result, the term «motor learning» is rarely used in connection with musicians, and an empirical approach to musical performance is more the exception than the rule. Sports scientists, however, show a great interest in musicians because of their advanced skill level and the attentional and emotional demands of the concert stage. This work combines knowledge across disciplines. Advances toward an understanding of human behavior and cognition offer clues to strategies of motor learning and performance that promote the well-being of musicians and athletes. This book provides a forum for an interdisciplinary exchange of research, laying the groundwork for future projects.


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Perceptual and Attentional Influences on Bimanual Coordination (Charles H. Shea/Attila J. Kovacs/John J. Buchanan)


Perceptual and Attentional Influences on Bimanual Coordination Abstract Numerous experimental findings, from behavioral to brain activity patterns, have been interpreted within the context of in-phase and anti- phase bimanual coordination as the only (or most often only) bimanual patterns that can be stably produced without extensive practice. The present chapter will review recent research demonstrating the powerful impact of perceptual and attention focus contexts on the ability of the motor system to overcome the attraction to in-phase and anti-phase coordination. The thesis of this work is that 1:1 and polyrhythmic bimanual coordination patterns that have been thought to be difficult to perform without extensive practice can be effectively tuned-in with relatively little practice when salient integrated perceptual information is provided, attention is directed to the extrinsic feedback, and additional attention demands are minimized. These results lead to the conclusion that an understanding of how performance context links perceptual processes to motor processes is paramount for the continued development of motor control and motor learning theories, whether the theories are based on information processing, internal models, or coordination dynamic frameworks. Perceptual and Attentional Influences on Bimanual Coordination Bimanual movement patterns are used in many everyday tasks such as tying one’s shoes, jumping rope, or steering an automobile. More complicated bimanual movement patterns are observed in juggling or playing a musical instrument. One musical example of a complex movement pattern involves the production of polyrhythms for drumming. Figure 1 (top) illustrates the music notation for a 5:3...

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