Navigation Links
Practice makes perfect if you have a partner's touch, according to new study

People improve their performance more when they practise with a partner rather than on their own, according to a new study.

The research could ultimately help people rehabilitating from a stroke.

Scientists from Imperial College London and two Japanese institutions explored whether physical interaction improved the way people performed in a computer-based task where they were using a joystick-like device. They were connected by a virtual elastic band to the same type of device operated by another person, who was hidden from view.

Most of the participants were unaware that they were working with a partner, but in spite of this they subconsciously used information transmitted through their partner's touch to enhance their performance. Participants achieved noticeably better results in the task when working with a partner than they did working on their own.

The researchers are particularly interested in how their findings could help people performing exercises for rehabilitation, for example when recovering from stroke. Robots are increasingly used for such rehabilitation and physiotherapy and the researchers believe that these robots would be more effective if they could react to patients through touch in the same way that people do. The research could also help people practising sports or other physical activities.

Dr Etienne Burdet, co-author of the study from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, said: "They say it takes two to tango and it seems that for physical tasks, practising with a partner really does improve performance. Our study is helping us to understand how touch plays a vital and very subtle role in helping people to transmit information to one another. This was the case in our study even when people couldn't see their partner or feel their partner's skin."

In the study, the researchers discovered that where one person was physically connected to a partner when learning a task, they consistently improved their performance regardless of how well their partner performed.

Even an intermittent physical connection between partners was found by the researchers to help individuals to learn the task better than subjects who practised the task alone for the same duration.

The team also found that when practising a task, the improvement in performance was most prominent when the partners were at a similar level, and that interacting with peers was more beneficial than working with an expert.

Improvements were most noticeable when the individual was practising with another human and not a robot.

Atsushi Takagi, PhD student and co-author of the study from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, said: "Humans are intensely social creatures and it is no surprise that we've developed non-verbal communication techniques to help us improve the way we carry out tasks. Touch is an essential tool in our communication arsenal. It's fascinating that this kind of communication can be so powerful even when people can't see each other. Excitingly, getting robotic devices to mimic this process could help people make bigger improvements when they are carrying out exercises in rehabilitation."

The team reached their conclusions by carrying out experimental sessions with 68 volunteers who operated a joystick-like robotic device to move a cursor, in an effort to track a randomly moving target on a screen.

Each session consisted of an equal number of single and dual trials. In the single trials each individual performed the tracking alone, while in the dual trials the candidates were connected by a virtual elastic band that connected the hands of the partners during the trial. The sequence of the trials was pre-determined and unknown to the subjects and most of the volunteers did not deduce that they were connected to a partner. Although they could feel the force of their partner during the trial, they were still able to make independent movements.

Contact: Colin Smith
Imperial College London

Related medicine news :

1. Cainkade Launches New Digital Health Practice
2. Miami Therapeutic Private Practice Blue Pearl Therapeutic, PA to Begin Seminars on Sex and Intimacy for Couples Including Seminars Catered to the LGBT Community
3. Gabriel Pediatrics, A NY-Based Comprehensive Pediatric Care Practice, Responds to the United States’ Treatment of Pediatric AIDS
4. Get Your Practice To A Flying Start In 2014 With These Simple Marketing Tips
5. Uninsured Infertility Patients Get Access to Affordable IVF Care Through WINFertility® - Program Expands with Prestigious Fertility Practices Covering the Carolinas
6. Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Resource4thePeople Announces Complimentary Consultations Will Be Available over the Holidays
7. Surgeon Introduces FDA-approved MENTOR® MemoryShape™ Breast Implants to El Paso Area Cosmetic Surgery Practice
8. Zephyr-TEC Simplifies Integration of Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 and Creates Complete Dictation System Solutions for Physicians
9. Register for Merrill DataSite's Webinar Playback: Best Practices for Strategic Growth: Where to Invest in the Maturing U.S. Economy
10. Speech Recognition Solutions, LLC Launches New Website That Sets New Standard in Technical Support for Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2
11. Despite rising health costs, few residency programs train doctors to practice cost-conscious care
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions ... SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of ... SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment ... itself for not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going ... price and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce that on ... accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to join this ... colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD College is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. ... Medical Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., ... observed that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class ... (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change ... version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry ... Report on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" ... data and information to its online ... . --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Brain ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... WILMINGTON, N.C. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announces the planned investment of at least $15.8 ... in Wilmington, NC . The ... services capacity to meet the growing demands of ... Wilmington site expansion will provide up ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: