MOTOR LEARNING PROGRAM (MRP): 3. Principle of the functional task oriented approach.


3. Principle of the functional task oriented approach.

The task-oriented approach is based on a systems model of motor control & theories of motor learning. The approach attempts to understand the problems faced by the nervous system to control & learning from the perspective of neurophysiology, biomechanics, & behavioral sciences.

 Within this frame work, motor control is understood as an attempt by the nervous system to adapt movement to the constrains imposed by mechanics of the motor apparatus (including length, mass of limb, & inter-segmental dynamics) and constrains imposed by environment (open & closed environment) as well as the behavioral context. Studies on motor control often analyze movements at the biomechanical & behavioral levels. Within this framework the responsibility of the therapist, as a teacher of motor skills, is to select contextually appropriate functional tasks, vary task parameters to ensure greater transfer of learning, structure practice schedules to encourage active participation of the patients, structure the environment so that all regulatory conditions of a given task are present, and provide feedback.

The theoretical assumption of the neurophysiologic approaches, which include Rood’s sensorimotor approach, Knott & Voss’s proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, Brunnstrom movement therapy & Bobath’s neurodevelopmental approach, were based on the empirical experience and research of their time. However, as the motor behavior changed in the 1980s & 1990s, the assumptions of the neurophysiologic approaches were proposed. Responsible the theoretical assumption of the neurodevelopmental treatment approach were updated with current motor behavior theories.

 However, domain of the neurodevelopmental treatment technique has changed little despite the changed theoretical assumptions. This may reflect the fact that neurodevelopment treatment was developed empirically first, and then theoretical assumption of the time were used to explain why it might work. In contrast, the task oriented approach evaluation and interventions strategies emerged primarily from its theoretical assumptions.

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