Biofeedback and Self-regulation

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 221–228 | Cite as

Electromyographic biofeedback for tension control during fine motor skill acquisition

  • Stephen N. French
Original Articles


The presence of residual muscular tension has been implicated as a detrimental influence on the performance and learning of motor skills. A method for reducing muscular tension has been provided by the advent of biofeedback training. This study investigated the effects of tension-control training by electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback on learning and performance of the pursuit-rotor backing task. Thirty young adult males were pretested for pursuit-rotor (PR) tracking skill, ranked by performance scores, and divided into identical triplicates to form two experimental groups and a control group. After a total of 3 hours of EMG biofeedback training for the experimental groups, all subjects were reevaluated on the PR test. One experimental group received biofeedback during the posttests. Analysis of variance of pretest-posttest difference means andt tests of scores representing performance and tension indicated that the EMG biofeedback training (1) significantly reduced tension induced by the novel motor skill and (2) significantly improved performance of the motor skill. Transfer of tension-control training was shown to facilitate learning and performance more than direct EMG biofeedback during performance. Residual tension reduction during learning was particularly facilitated by EMG biofeedback training, a profound implication for the management of stress in a variety of situations.


Motor Skill Skill Acquisition Profound Implication Tension Reduction Fine Motor Skill 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen N. French
    • 1
  1. 1.State College of Victoria-RusdenClaytonAustralia

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