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Hum Mov Sci. 2011 Jun;30(3):534-49. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2010.08.003. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Athletic experience influences shoulder rotations when running through apertures.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health Promotion Science, Graduate School of Human Health Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan. higuchit@tmu.ac.jp


In order to pass through apertures safely and efficiently, individuals must perceive the width of the aperture relative to (1) the width of the person-plus-object system and to (2) their (anticipated) movement speed. The present study investigated whether athletes who have extensive experience playing sports that require running through narrow spaces while wearing shoulder pads control their shoulder rotations differently while performing this behavior than athletes who lack such experience. Groups of athletes with experience competing in different sports (American football, rugby, and control athletes) performed a behavioral task in which they ran or walked between two tucking dummies with or without wearing shoulder pads. They also performed a psychophysical task in which they reported perceived width of the body and shoulder pads. When running through the apertures, the athletes who played American football exhibited smaller magnitudes and later onset of shoulder rotations than control athletes. No such difference was found when walking through the apertures. There was no difference in perception of the width of the shoulder pads among three groups. These findings suggest that performance of this behavior is action-scaled and task-specific.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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