Scientific article
Open access

Motor strategies in lifting movements: A comparison of adult and children performance

Published inJournal of Motor Behavior, vol. 15, no. 3, p. 202-216
Publication date1983

The experiment compares the performances of children six to nine years old and adults in a simple, monoarticular lifting task. Overt behaviors, as described by the kinematic features of the movement, do not differ qualitatively in the two groups. The patterns of motor commands, as expressed by the electromyographic recordings, are however strikingly different. Adults plan the movement with a careful balance between agonist muscle activity and passive viscoelastic forces, whereas children use both agonist and antagonist active forces. It is argued that the motor strategy adopted by adults depends upon an internal representation of the properties of the motor system and of the size/weight covariation in natural objects, and that this representation is not yet fully developed at nine years of age.

  • Lifting objects
  • Mono-articular movement
  • Constrained amplitude
  • Objects increasing in weight and size
  • Constant force strategy
  • Constant acceleration strategy
  • Children from 6 to 9 years of age
Citation (ISO format)
GACHOUD, Jean-Pierre et al. Motor strategies in lifting movements: A comparison of adult and children performance. In: Journal of Motor Behavior, 1983, vol. 15, n° 3, p. 202–216. doi: 10.1080/00222895.1983.10735297
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