Psychophysiological adaptation and attention demands in initial psychomotor skill acquisition under conditions of extreme arousal

Bethune, P. R. (1983). Psychophysiological adaptation and attention demands in initial psychomotor skill acquisition under conditions of extreme arousal Master's Thesis, Graduate School of Education, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bethune, P. R.
Thesis Title Psychophysiological adaptation and attention demands in initial psychomotor skill acquisition under conditions of extreme arousal
School, Centre or Institute Graduate School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1983
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Dr. David Russell
Total pages 93
Language eng
Subjects 380101 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
380100 Psychology
Formatted abstract

Abseiling a 15.35 metre vertical wall was employed as a real life, high arousal activity to study psychomotor skill acquisition of seventeen physical education college students. Eleven males and six females completed four consecutive descents and one male and one female completed a further eight and ten descents following a four and eight day intertrial interval respectively. No significant differences were found between the sexes in telemetered heart rate (H.R.); subjective self-report of affect for excitement, arousal, pleasure and distress; primary psychomotor task (P.T.) performance; or secondary auditory task ( S.T.) vigilance. Significant H.R. differences, p < .001, are reported between the six recording occasions of each trial as was the interaction between trials and occasions, p < .0 5. Anticipatory H.R. remained elevated throughout the four trials, however, H.R. measured during the abseil descent decreased successively with each trial. Significant differences between trials are reported for the affect scales of excitement, p < .0 5; arousal, p < .0 5; distress, p < .01; as well as between pre and post-trial scores including the pleasure scale, p < .0 5. An abseil trial time constraint, imposed to prevent a speed accuracy trade off in P.T. and/or S.T. performance, proved effective as no significant differences for trial times is reported. P. T. improvement each trial was highly significant, p < .01, with an overall performance increase of 19%. A significant difference, p < .01, between subjects over trials is reported for the S.T. employed to measure the P.T. attentional demands of the central processing capacity. An overall 26% increase in S.T. performance indicated an increase in central processing capacity. A 22% decrease in S.T. performance between trials two and three is discussed in terms of trace consolidation theory and habit strength development. In agreement with the peripheralist view, high autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity appears to act as a barrier to the central nervous system (CNS) and a reduction in ANS activity facilitates central processing capacity. As a post hoc study, great individually different effects of intertrial intervals in the early skill acquisition stage are reported and discussed as are the implications of these findings for teachers of high risk activities.

Keyword Motor learning
Adaptability (Psychology)
Arousal (Physiology)
Adaptation (Physiology)
Attention
Additional Notes Other Title : Attention demands under conditions of arousal.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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