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Behav Brain Funct. 2010 Dec 23;6(1):74. doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-6-74.

Sex-related differences in motor learning and performance.

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Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México.


Gender differences have been shown across many domains, and motor skills are no exception. One of the most robust findings is a significant sex difference in throwing accuracy, which reflects the advantage of men in targeting abilities. However, little is known about the basis of this difference. To try to dissect possible mechanisms involved in this difference, here we tested for gender variations in a prism adaptation throwing task. We tested 154 subjects in a visuomotor prism adaptation task that discriminates between motor performance, visuomotor adaptation and negative aftereffects. Our results corroborate men's significant better throwing accuracy, although there were no adaptation differences between genders. In contrast, women showed significant larger negative aftereffects, which could be explained by a larger contribution of spatial alignment. These results suggest that different learning mechanisms, like strategic calibration and spatial alignment, may have different contributions in men and women.

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