Examining error detection capabilities in a novel force production task as a function of athletic experience.
The purpose of this experiment is to determine whether having previous athletic experience in a routine sport (ie. Cheerleading) will affect the participant’s ability to self-report superior error-detection, motor performance, time on target, confidence, and agonist and antagonist co-activation patterns while learning a novel skill compared to non-routine athletes. Participants were required to perform proportions of their maximal isometric elbow flexion (46%) and extension (38%) forces for 5 seconds over 30 acquisition trials on an elbow flexion and extension device. Following each trial, participants will be required to estimate how much force they think they exerted on that trial as well as their confidence on that trial. A feedback screen was provided regarding what their task goal was, their actual performance, and their estimated performance. A no-KR (Knowledge of Results) retention and transfer test was conducted approximately 48-hours after the acquisition period. Meanwhile, we examined the co-activation patterns in the EMG (electromyography) of their biceps and triceps as they performed their isometric contractions. During the acquisition, retention, and transfer periods there were no between group differences for error detection, motor performance, time on target, confidence, nor for muscle co-activation. The present study found that skill level of the participant does not affect error-detection accuracy and decreases muscle co-activation when learning a novel skill.