Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 131 - 141

Research article
Using Mean Absolute Relative Phase, Deviation Phase and Point-Estimation Relative Phase to Measure Postural Coordination in a Serial Reaching Task
Anne K. Galgon1, , Patricia A. Shewokis2
Author Information
1 Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Drexel University, USA

Anne K. Galgon
‚úČ PT, PhD, NCS Associate Professor, 3307 North Broad Street, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA
Publish Date
Received: 07-09-2015
Accepted: 11-01-2016
Published (online): 23-02-2016
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The objectives of this communication are to present the methods used to calculate mean absolute relative phase (MARP), deviation phase (DP) and point estimate relative phase (PRP) and compare their utility in measuring postural coordination during the performance of a serial reaching task. MARP and DP are derived from continuous relative phase time series representing the relationship between two body segments or joints during movements. MARP is a single measure used to quantify the coordination pattern and DP measures the stability of the coordination pattern. PRP also quantifies coordination patterns by measuring the relationship between the timing of maximal or minimal angular displacements of two segments within cycles of movement. Seven young adults practiced a bilateral serial reaching task 300 times over 3 days. Relative phase measures were used to evaluate inter-joint relationships for shoulder-hip (proximal) and hip-ankle (distal) postural coordination at early and late learning. MARP, PRP and DP distinguished between proximal and distal postural coordination. There was no effect of practice on any of the relative phase measures for the group, but individual differences were seen over practice. Combined, MARP and DP estimated stability of in-phase and anti-phase postural coordination patterns, however additional qualitative movement analyses may be needed to interpret findings in a serial task. We discuss the strengths and limitations of using MARP and DP and compare MARP and DP to PRP measures in assessing coordination patterns in the context of various types of skillful tasks.

Key words: Postural coordination, mean absolute relative phase, deviation phase, point-estimation relative phase

           Key Points
  • MARP, DP and PRP measures coordination between segments or joint angles
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each measure should be considered in relationship to the performance task
  • MARP and DP may capture coordination patterns and stability of the patterns during discrete tasks or phases of movements within a task
  • PRP and SD or PRP may capture coordination patterns and stability during continuous oscillating movement tasks.
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