The Sine Wave Protocol: Decrease Movement Time Without Increasing Errors

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Jason B. Boyle, Deanna M. Kennedy, Chaoyi Wang & Charles H. Shea (2014)The Sine Wave Protocol: Decrease Movement Time Without Increasing Errors,Journal of Motor Behavior, 46:4, 277-285, DOI: 10.1080/00222895.2014.898608


Practice tracking a sine wave template has been shown (J. B. Boyle, D. Kennedy, & C. H. Shea, 2012) to greatly enhance performance on a difficult Fitts task of the same amplitude. The purpose of the experiment was to replicate this finding and determine whether enhancements related to the sine wave practice are specific to the amplitude experienced during the sine wave practice. Following sine wave or Fitts task practice with amplitudes of 16° or 24°, participants were tested under the conditions they had practiced under (Test 1) and then all groups were tested under Fitts task conditions (Test 2; ID = 6, amplitude = 16°). Participants who practiced with the sine wave templates were able to move faster on Test 2 where a 16° amplitude Fitts task was used than participants that had practiced either the 16° or 24° amplitude Fitts tasks. The movements produced by the sine groups on Test 2 were not only faster than the movements of the Fitts groups on Test 2, but dwell time was lower with percent time to peak velocity and harmonicity higher for the Sine groups than for the Fitts groups. The decreased movement times for the sine groups on Test 2 were accomplished with hits or endpoint variability similar to that of the Fitts group.