The aim of this study is to clarify the developmental process and relationship between a child's independence and experience with nature, or the parents’ experience with nature, which means non-urban environments. It is essential to develop a statistical model to explain how these factors are integrated. Although a child’s independence is not developed exclusively in response to these factors, this study can help to explain how and what factors are involved in developing independence. Therefore, the author tried to explain how and to what extent a child’s independence depends on experience with nature and play.
Both boy and girl students in the third and fifth grades of elementary school and their parents were selected as the pairs of subjects for a questionnaire. Data were collected with a four-point rating scale focusing on the following tasks to rate a child’s independent behaviors: 1）the child's experiences in the nature, 2）the parent's experiences in nature, 3）the child's play, and 4）the child’s independent behaviors.
When the first three sets of data above were factor-analyzed they revealed the three single dominant factors. However, as for the fourth set of data concerning the children’s independent behaviors, the same method of factor-analysis applied found 4 factors, “sociality,” “handling tools,” “alone behavior” and “cooperation.” The factor “cooperation” showed the highest effect on developing the children’s independence, but the explanation rate of the variation of the factor was only 20%.
The children’s experiences in nature, however, might play important roles on the development of their independence. Further study is needed to envision and develop a comprehensive strategy that should be designed to analyze the overall growth of children’s independence. This study was based on a subjective evaluation of children, but it would be better to add objective evaluations to this study. When it comes to children’s lifestyles in modern society, we have to consider that their experiences in nature or their play would be important on the development of independence. Therefore, we should expose children to those kinds of experiences as much as possible, and this should be the focal point for teachers, parents, and guardians of our children.
In order to reveal the brain wave components and the cerebral cortex area related to control of timing, we examined the occurrence patterns of brain wave components in the cerebral cortex of human subjects during a timing control task. The subjects were six healthy adults. All subjects were right-handed. We used two tasks, one was a smooth pursuit eye movement task as the control task, and the other was a coincidence anticipation timing task as the timing task. Both tasks were carried out from a computer display placed approximately 1.3m away from the subject. An electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded from electrodes placed at 128 sites on the scalp. The EEG was separated to in frequency bands of an alpha component and a beta component by FFT analysis and then analyzed. In addition, the alpha component and the beta component were compared respectively in 18 sites according to the international 10/20 system without Cz between the control task and the timing task.
In the timing task, we observed a decrease of the alpha component and an increase of the beta component in specific areas related to the task. Then, we observed that the areas where the beta component increased was in the bilateral visual areas, the left parietal area, the left motor area and the frontal area. These results suggest that in human subjects, information processing in the cerebral cortex is done in the beta component and timing by a visual stimulus is controlled by the visual, parietal, motor and frontal areas.
We investigated which of the frequency components of the electroencephalogram (EEG); beta band, shows chronological changes in the cerebral information processing during a visual oddball task. The fast and slow reactions were compared and analyzed to show factors of the delay in reaction time.
Fifteen healthy subjects (all right-handed) were studied. In the oddball task, the subject was instructed to push a button with the right thumb as quickly as possible when the target stimulus from a computer display was perceived. The EEG was recorded from the scalp by 128 channels. The beta band (13 to 30 Hz) was isolated from the EEG and analyzed.
The chronological changes of beta band in the left and right cerebral cortices were as follows. After the excitation from a visual stimulus reached the visual cortex, the excitation was transmitted to the temporal and the parietal association areas, and then from these association areas to the frontal association area. The activities of these pathways were occurred repetitively three times until a button was pushed. When the reaction time was delayed, the frequencies of excitation in the frontal association area, the parietal association area and the visual cortices of both cerebral cortices increased.
Our data suggested that the repeated pathway indicated known visual information processing. The frontal association areas are an important area for cognitive function. Therefore the frontal association areas probably play an important role in decision-making for a fast reaction.
Every day, we are confronted by numerous opportunities for stepping. However, the relationship between anticipatory control of swing limb during stepping and small levels of change in step height has not been examined. The purpose of this study was therefore to clarify the influence that changes in step height exert on the anticipatory control of swing limb, while stepping. In this study, 10 male subjects (age: 19.40 ± 1.65 yr., Height: 161.92 ± 1.71 cm.) executed level walking and stepping. Step heights ranged from 1 cm to 9 cm in 1 cm intervals. As a result, a significant difference was observed between the hip joint angle used for step heights from level to 2 cm and the hip joint angle used for all levels. With increasing step height, the hip joint angle became increasingly flexed. From a step height of 3 cm, the knee joint angle also flexed gradually. Toe clearance was thus ensured via control of the hip joint, for step heights up to 2 cm for the subjects of this study. For step heights greater than 3 cm, clearance was ensured via control of both the hip and knee joints. Toe clearance was approximately 5 cm, regardless of step height. The results suggest that the necessity to control knee flexion is perceived from a certain height.