Advertisement

More bang for the buck: autonomy support increases muscular efficiency

  • Takehiro IwatsukiEmail author
  • Hui-Ting Shih
  • Reza Abdollahipour
  • Gabriele Wulf
Original Article
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether conditions that provide performers with a sense of autonomy, by giving them choices, would increase movement efficiency. We evaluated neuromuscular activation as a function of choice, using surface electromyography (EMG), during isometric force production. Participants (N = 16) were asked to perform plantar flexions at each of three target torques (80%, 50%, 20% of maximum voluntary contractions) under both choice and control conditions. In the choice condition, they were able to choose the order of target torques, whereas the order was pre-determined in the control condition. Results demonstrated that while similar torques were produced under both conditions, EMG activity was lower in the choice relative to the control condition. Thus, providing performers with a choice led to reduced neuromuscular activity, or an increase in movement efficiency. This finding is in line with the notion that autonomy support readies the motor system for task execution by contributing to the coupling of goals and actions (Wulf and Lewthwaite, Psychon Bull Rev 23:1382–1414, 2016).

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Brach Poston and Dale Karas for assistance with research planning and data analysis, respectively.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Aarts, H., Bijleveld, E., Dogge, M., Deelder, M., Schutter, D., & van Haren, N. E. M. (2012). Positive priming and intentional binding: Eye-blink rate predicts reward information effects on the sense of agency. Social Neuroscience, 7, 105–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aarts, H., Custers, R., & Marien, H. (2008). Preparing and motivating behavior outside of awareness. Science, 319, 1639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aiken, C. A., Fairbrother, J. T., & Post, P. G. (2012). The effects of self-controlled video feedback on the learning of the basketball set shot. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chiviacowsky, S., & Wulf, G. (2002). Self-controlled feedback: Does it enhance learning because performers get feedback when they need it? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73, 408–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chiviacowsky, S., Wulf, G., Lewthwaite, R., & Campos, T. (2012). Motor learning benefits of self-controlled practice in persons with Parkinson’s disease. Gait and Posture, 35, 601–605.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen, J. (2013). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. London: Routledge Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cresswell, A. G., Löscher, W. N., & Thorstensson, A. (1995). Influence of gastrocnemius muscle length on triceps surae torque development and electromyographic activity in man. Experimental Brain Research, 105, 283–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Csibra, G., Hernik, M., Mascaro, O., Tatone, D., & Lengyel, M. (2016). Statistical treatment of looking-time data. Developmental Psychology, 52, 521–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. de la Fuente-Fernández, R. (2009). The placebo-reward hypothesis: dopamine and the placebo effect. Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, 15S3, S72–S74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Fiorio, M., Emadi Andani, M., Marotta, A., Classen, J., & Tinazzi, M. (2014). Placebo-induced changes in excitatory and inhibitory corticospinal circuits during motor performance. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 3993–4005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Foreman, K. B., Singer, M. L., Addison, O., Marcus, R. L., LaStayo, P. C., & Dibble, L. E. (2014). Effects of dopamine replacement therapy on lower extremity kinetics and kinematics during a rapid force production task in persons with Parkinson disease. Gait & Posture, 39, 638–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Geertsen, S. S., Kjaer, M., Pedersen, K. K., Petersen, T. H., Perez, M. A., & Nielsen, J. B. (2013). Central common drive to antagonistic ankle muscles in relation to short-term cocontraction training in nondancers and professional ballet dancers. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115, 1075–1081.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Halperin, I., Chapman, D. T., Martin, D. T., Lewthwaite, R., & Wulf, G. (2017). Choices enhance punching performance of competitive kickboxers. Psychological Research, 81, 1051–1058.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hartman, J. M. (2007). Self-controlled use of a perceived physical assistance device during a balancing task. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 104, 1005–1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hooyman, A., Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2014). Impacts of autonomy-supportive versus controlling instructional language on motor learning. Human Movement Science, 36, 190–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hutchinson, J. C., Sherman, T., Martinovic, N., & Tenenbaum, G. (2008). The effect of manipulated self-efficacy on perceived and sustained effort. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20, 457–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Iwatsuki, T., Abdollahipour, R., Psotta, R., Lewthwaite, R., & Wulf, G. (2017). Autonomy facilitates repeated maximum force productions. Human Movement Science, 55, 264–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Iwatsuki, T., Navalta, J., & Wulf, G. (2019). Autonomy enhances running efficiency. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37, 685–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Janelle, C. M., Barba, D. A., Frehlich, S. G., Tennant, L. K., & Cauraugh, J. H. (1997). Maximizing performance feedback effectiveness through videotape replay and a self-controlled learning environment. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 68, 269–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jenkinson, N., & Brown, P. (2011). New insights into the relationship between dopamine, beta oscillations and motor function. Trends in Neurosciences, 34, 611–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kalasountas, V., Reed, J., & Fitzpatrick, J. (2007). The effect of placebo-induced changes in expectancies on maximal force production in college students. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 19, 116–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lakens, D. (2013). Calculating and reporting effect sizes to facilitate cumulative science: A practical primer for t-tests and ANOVAs. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lee, W., & Reeve, J. (2013). Self-determined, but not non-self-determined, motivation predicts activations in the anterior insular cortex: An fMRI study of personal agency. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8, 538–545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lemos, A., Wulf, G., Lewthwaite, R., & Chiviacowsky, S. (2017). Autonomy support enhances performance expectancies, positive affect, and motor learning. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 31, 28–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lessa, H. T., & Chiviacowsky, S. (2015). Self-controlled practice benefits motor learning in older adults. Human Movement Science, 40, 372–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lewthwaite, R., Chiviacowsky, S., Drews, R., & Wulf, G. (2015). Choose to move: The motivational impact of autonomy support on motor learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 1383–1388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lidstone, S. C., Schlzer, M., Dinelle, K., Mak, E., Sossi, V., Ruth, T. J., et al. (2010). Effects of expectation on placebo induced dopamine release in Parkinson’s disease. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67, 857–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lohse, K. R., Jones, M., Healy, A. F., & Sherwood, D. E. (2014). The role of attention in motor control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143, 930–948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lohse, K. R., & Sherwood, D. E. (2012). Thinking about muscles: The neuromuscular effects of attentional focus on accuracy and fatigue. Acta Psychologica, 140, 236–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lohse, K. R., Sherwood, D. E., & Healy, A. F. (2010). How changing the focus of attention affects performance, kinematics, and electromyography in dart throwing. Human Movement Science, 29, 542–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lohse, K. R., Sherwood, D. E., & Healy, A. F. (2011). Neuromuscular effects of shifting the focus of attention in a simple force production task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 173–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marchant, D. C., Greig, M., & Scott, C. (2009). Attentional focusing instructions influence force production and muscular activity during isokinetic elbow flexions. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23, 2358–2366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McKay, B., Wulf, G., Lewthwaite, R., & Nordin, A. (2015). The self: Your own worst enemy? A test of the self-invoking trigger hypothesis. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 1910–1919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Meadows, C. C., Gable, P. A., Lohse, K. R., & Miller, M. W. (2016). Motivation and motor cortical activity can independently affect motor performance. Neuroscience, 339, 174–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Menon, V. (2015). Salience network. In A. W. Toga (Ed.), Brain mapping: an encyclopedic reference (Vol. 2, pp. 597–611). London: Elsevier, Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Milton, J., Solodkin, A., Hluštík, P., & Small, S. L. (2007). The mind of expert motor performance is cool and focused. NeuroImage, 35, 804–813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Montes, J., Wulf, G., & Navalta, J. W. (2018). Maximal aerobic capacity can be increased by enhancing performers’ expectancies. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 58, 744–749.Google Scholar
  39. Morris, S. B., & DeShon, R. P. (2002). Combining effect size estimates in meta-analysis with repeated measures and independent-groups designs. Psychological Methods, 7, 105–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Murayama, K., Izuma, K., Aoki, R., & Matsumoto, K. (2016). “Your Choice” motivates you in the brain: The emergence of autonomy neuroscience. Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation, 19, 95–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pascua, L. A. M., Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2015). Additive benefits of external focus and enhanced performance expectancy for motor learning. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33, 58–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 270–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Post, P. G., Fairbrother, J. T., & Barros, J. A. C. (2011). Self-controlled amount of practice benefits learning of a motor skill. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 82, 474–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reeve, J., & Tseng, M. (2011). Agency as a fourth aspect of student engagement during learning activities. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36, 257–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ste-Marie, D. M., Vertes, K. A., Law, B., & Rymal, A. M. (2013). Learner-controlled self-observation is advantageous for motor skill acquisition. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stoate, I., Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2012). Enhanced expectancies improve movement efficiency in runners. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30, 815–823.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vance, J., Wulf, G., Töllner, T., McNevin, N., & Mercer, J. (2004). EMG activity as a function of the performer’s focus of attention. Journal of Motor Behavior, 36, 450–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Weir, J. P., Wagner, L. L., & Housh, T. J. (1992). Linearity and reliability of the IEMG v torque relationship for the forearm flexors and leg extensors. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 71, 283–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wulf, G., & Adams, N. (2014). Small choices can enhance balance learning. Human Movement Science, 38, 235–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wulf, G., Chiviacowsky, S., & Drews, R. (2015). External focus and autonomy support: Two important factors in motor learning have additive benefits. Human Movement Science, 40, 176–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wulf, G., Dufek, J. S., Lozano, L., & Pettigrew, C. (2010). Increased jump height and reduced EMG activity with an external focus. Human Movement Science, 29(3), 440–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wulf, G., Iwatsuki, T., Machin, B., Kellogg, J., Copeland, C., & Lewthwaite, R. (2018). Lassoing skill through learner choice. Journal of Motor Behavior, 50, 285–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wulf, G., & Lewthwaite, R. (2016). Optimizing performance through intrinsic motivation and attention for learning: The OPTIMAL theory of motor learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1382–1414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wulf, G., Raupach, M., & Pfeiffer, F. (2005). Self-controlled observational practice enhances learning. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 76, 107–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wulf, G., & Toole, T. (1999). Physical assistance devices in complex motor skill learning: Benefits of a self-controlled practice schedule. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 70, 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zachry, T., Wulf, G., Mercer, J., & Bezodis, N. (2005). Increased movement accuracy and reduced EMG activity as the result of adopting an external focus of attention. Brain Research Bulletin, 67, 304–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takehiro Iwatsuki
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hui-Ting Shih
    • 2
  • Reza Abdollahipour
    • 3
  • Gabriele Wulf
    • 2
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State University, Altoona CollegeAltoonaUSA
  2. 2.University of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.Palacký University OlomoucOlomoucCzech Republic

Personalised recommendations