Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Breanna Studenka


Breanna Studenka


Brennan Thompson


Travis Dorsch


Individuals need to be able to adjust and modify their movements to effectively navigate their surroundings and engage with others. Studies have shown that, for binary tasks, individuals show a hysteresis effect, (the reuse of previous motor plans), which decreases end-state comfort when a task is changed. To date, there is no agreed-upon method for measuring resistance to hysteresis (planning flexibility). This study's purpose was to develop a non-binary measure of motor planning flexibility. The study used 24 participants (18 to 33 years), who performed the task of grasping a cylindrical object with 8 pointers and rotating it clockwise to match a target. Participants performed the same rotation 1, 3, or 6 times before a task switch. Participants, on average, exhibited a hysteresis effect that was not dependent on the number of grasps performed before a grasp switch or on the size of the difference between two grasps. Grasps were made based on the cumulative effect of previous grasps with the most influence coming from the grasp immediately preceding a new grasp. Due to the similarity between grasps used and the short duration of time between tasks, participants appeared to adopt an overall strategy that balanced comfort at the end state and the reuse of a former motor plan.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 01, 2029