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Overview of Motor Behavior and Motor Control

presented by Patricia C. Montgomery, PhD, PT, FAPTA

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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How do principles of motor control and motor learning influence motor development? Having a framework in which to apply these principles to pediatric interventions is essential. This course is designed to provide an overview of motor behavior with emphasis on motor control. Case studies are provided to illustrate their application to children with disabilities.

Meet Your Instructor

Patricia C. Montgomery, PhD, PT, FAPTA

Patricia C. Montgomery, PhD, PT, FAPTA, received a BS degree in physical therapy from the University of Oklahoma and an MA in Educational Psychology and PhD in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Montgomery is an NDT-trained therapist and Faculty Emeritus of Sensory Integration International. She has taught in several physical therapy programs…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Overview of Motor Behavior

This chapter provides a basic definition of three fields of study: Motor Control, Motor Learning, and Motor Development. The commonalities and differences among these three fields are described, and examples of how movement can be defined and analyzed are outlined. A brief review of the historical interactions and theoretical changes in these three disciplines is also included. This chapter is intended to provide a framework for the subsequent four courses in the general topic of Motor Control and Motor Learning.

2. Case Studies on Development of Ambulation

Case studies are presented that contrast achievement of independent ambulation in two children: a typically developing child (from birth to 11 months of age) and a child with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia with an assistive device (from 2-4 years of age).

3. Motor Control Influences on Theory

This chapter reviews influences on the development of Motor Control theory. Hierarchical models are contrasted with Systems models in relation to clinical applications by therapists. Closed-loop systems (feedback) and feed-forward Motor Control models are described, and areas of research in Motor Control are summarized. The importance of environmental “affordances” in motor behavior is discussed, and the role of therapists in incorporating this concept in intervention strategies is emphasized.

4. Identifying Affordances in a Natural Environment

A case study is presented that illustrates how “affordances” in a natural environment can facilitate motor behavior to achieve specific functional objectives.

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