Quadrato Motor Training

Creativity

Quadrato Motor Training (QMT), new form complete body training developed by Patrizio Paoletti as part of an educational model to improve cognitive performance, can help the people to increase their creativity and alpha activity that results in improved cognitive performance.

QMT is complete body movement training with oral instructions in order to enhance attention, coordination and creativity in the subjects. It involves more of the directions of movements of the different body parts in contrast to the normal training models.

Graphical illustration of the Quadrato Motor training (Credit: PLoS ONE)

Researchers, in one study, wrote the method for QMT as follows,

The QMT requires standing at one corner of a 0.5 m × 0.5 m square and making movements to different corners of the square in response to verbal instructions given by an audio tape recording indicating the next corner to which the participant should move (“one four” means move from corner 1 to corner 4). There are 3 optional directions of movement, and the movement is always in one step. We used a specific sequence of movements provided by Patrizio Paoletti, founder of the QMT training, translated from Italian to Hebrew by the first author. Each movement can be forward, backward, left, right, or diagonal. The instructions direct participants to keep the eyes focused straight ahead, hands loose at the side of the body. They are also told to immediately continue with the next instruction and not to stop due to mistakes. At each corner, there are three possible directions to move (for example, from corner 1 the participant can move to corner 2, to corner 3 or to corner 4). The training thus consists of 12 possible movements (3 directions × 4 corners): 2 forward, 2 backward, 2 left, 2 right and 4 diagonals. The participant is required to move from one corner to another according to the number on the recording. For example, if the sequence required is 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 3, 1…. this means moving to the first corner, then to the second, then back to the first, and so on.

Two important variables that were addressed in other contexts of motor learning are limb velocity required in order to accurately reach a goal and the decision regarding the responding limb.

(In this study, researchers) aimed at controlling limb velocity, by using a movement sequence comprising a total of 69 instruction steps, paced at a rate of 0.5 Hz (similar to a slow walking rate), which was the same for all participants. (They) also controlled for the decision regarding the responding limb by instructing participants to begin all movements with the leg closest to the center of the square.

Researchers compared the QMT with the other training models i.e. Verbal Training (VT) and Simple Motor Training (SMT). VT is the similar cognitive training with verbal responses while SMT is also a similar motor training but with fewer choice requirements. They found that the reaction time is increased in SMT and QMT while the ideational flexibility increased only in QMT. Researchers noted that the enhanced ideational flexibility is the result of more alpha coherence. Increased creativity as a result of increased frontal alpha activity has been attributed to the increased body perception, sense of lucidity and increased attention.

Researchers proposed that QMT may help to treat the people with brain disorders such as patients of Alzheimer’s disease or patients with different learning disabilities.

Reference:

Dotan Ben-Soussan, T., Glicksohn, J., Goldstein, A., Berkovich-Ohana, A., & Donchin, O. (2013). Into the Square and out of the Box: The effects of Quadrato Motor Training on Creativity and Alpha Coherence PLoS ONE, 8 (1) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055023

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