Reaction Time - Motor Control

Reaction time

Indicates speed and effectiveness of decision making

Interval of time between the presentation of a stimulus and the beginning of the movement response

Reflects the time required for a receptor nerve to carry the message to the brain to activate appropriate muscles for response

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Simple vs. choice vs. discriminative

Simple reaction time - time taken to respond to the presentation of one stimulus

Choice reaction time - time taken to respond when there is potentially more than one stimuli, each of which has a specified response

Discriminative reaction time - time taken to distinguish between 2 different stimuli

Hicks law = as the number of stimulus response alternatives increases, the reaction time increases

This means that choice reaction time will be greater that simple reaction time

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Response time

Response time = reaction time + movement time

Movement time = time taken for muscles to respond to completion

Therefore the response time reflects the amount of time it takes to activate the brain for a response as well as carrying out the whole response

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Factors affecting reaction time

Pre-cueing

Practice

Skill level

Fore-period length regularity

Stimulus response compatibility

Sex

Sleep

Hunger

Alcohol

Age

Anticipation

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