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By Miranda Dickerson, Health Sciences (Behavior and Occupation Studies); Eden Hearons, Heath Sciences (Behavior and Occupation Studies)
Advisor: Rachel Gleason
Presentation ID: PM_B30
Abstract: Several afflictions impact hand dexterity. Injuries can limit or eliminate use for an extended period of time, but neuromuscular and cardiovascular events can also cause unilateral motor control difficulties. Diseases such as ALS, Parkinson's, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Huntington's as well as cardiovascular events such as stroke can cause a person to lose motor control or functionality of their dominant hand. Often, these type of injuries leave the afflicted at a physical and functional deficit. Whether a permanent unilateral injury to the affected area or a temporary impairment, these individuals must learn to use non-dominant body parts to accomplish the everyday tasks of daily living. This study is designed to further explore the efficiency of massed vs. distributed practice schedules in training the non-dominant hand to complete a certain task. The study population consists of up to 50 individuals aged 18-24 with no history of injuries or disorders affecting the hands. Participants are asked to attend five sessions to improve their non-dominant hand dexterity by building three structures with Legos. They can either attend five consecutive days for ten minutes each session or every other day for the same amount of time. At the end of the five sessions, the participants are asked to come back two days later for a retention test to see if their non-dominant hand control improved when building a final Lego structure. The results of the two groups will be compared and supports whether massed or distributed practice will benefit non-dominant hand performance during tasks.