Get on the good foot : do pedal asymmetries exist in the sprint start response?
Master of Science
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The study of pedal asymmetries examines the differences in reaction time and movement time between the foot/hemisphere systems in humans. Although asymmetries have been examined using pointing movements research has yet to be completed that examines pedal asymmetries in a functional movement such as the track and field sprint start. Using the track & field sprint start, 20 individuals (10 experienced, 10 inexperienced) were assessed for pedal asymmetries. Each participant performed 48 starts (24 right foot starts and 24 left foot starts). Variable foreperiods (1500, 2000, 2500 & 3000ms) were used to control for anticipations. A left foot (i.e., left foot in rear position) reaction time advantage was found. Right foot (i.e., right foot in rear position) advantages were found for movement time and response time. Foreperiod length did not affect reaction time. There were no significant differences between the experienced and inexperienced sprinters. The experience factor did not interact with any other factors. Preferred stance was evaluated as a control variable and did not affect the pattern of asymmetry. The pattern of pedal asymmetries in the sprint start response was consistent with that of manual asymmetries. Further, the results were consistent with a right hemisphere specialization for spatiotemporal processing, and a left hemisphere specialization for movement execution and on-line correction. The pattern of asymmetries extends to tasks using an auditory signal as an auditory tone was used to mimic the “starting gun”.