Affordance-controlled bifurcations of action patterns in martial arts

Hristovski, Robert, Davids, Keith W., & Araujo, Duarte (2006) Affordance-controlled bifurcations of action patterns in martial arts. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology and the Life Sciences, 10(4), pp. 409-444.

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Effects of participant-target distance and perceived handstriking efficiency on emergent behavior in the martial art of boxing were investigated, revealing affordance-controlled nonlinear dynamical effects (i.e. bifurcations) within the participant – target system. Results established the existence of critical values of scaled distances for emergence of first time excitations and annihilations of a diverse range of boxing actions i.e. on the appearance and dissolution of jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Reasons for the action diversity were twofold: i) topological discontinuous changes (bifurcations) in the number of possible handstrikes, i.e. motor solutions to the hitting task; ii) fine modification of probabilities of emergence of striking patterns. Exploitation of a 'strikeability' affordance available in scaled distance-to-target information by boxers led to a diversity of emergent actions through a cascade of bifurcations in the task perceptual-motor work space. Data suggested that perceived efficiency (E) of an action changed as a function of scaled distance (D) and was correlated with the probability of occurrence of action patterns (P), exhibiting the following dependence P = P(E(D)). The implication is that probability of occurrence (P) depends on efficiency (E) which in turn depends on scaled distance (D) to the target. Accordingly, scaled distance-dependent perceived efficiency seems a viable candidate for a contextual (control) parameter to describe the nonlinear dynamics of striking actions in boxing.

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ID Code: 7555
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Access to the author-version is currently restricted pending permission from the publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
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Keywords: action control, bifurcations, affordances, decision –making, discrete movements, nonlinear dynamics, martial arts, action diversity
ISSN: 1090-0578
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences
Deposited On: 14 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:29

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