Effects of Force Level and Hand Dominance on Bilateral Transfer of a Fine Motor Skill
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Our research is about bilateral transfer, a concept in motor learning where skills learned by one limb are "transferred", allowing the opposite limb to benefit from what was learned by the first limb. Previous research into bilateral transfer has raised questions about whether specific aspects of motor coordination are or are not transferred. We wanted to see whether learning to control pinch force by the thumb and index finger is transferable, and if it is, whether the learning transfers equally from either hand. We also want to look into the effects of different force levels on the degree of transfer. We designed a task using a program that takes force levels as inputs and has the participant trace shapes on a screen. By having participants perform with one hand, then practice with the other, and finally perform again with the initial hand, we can measure transfer as the difference in performance before and after practice with the other hand.