Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. David L. Nelson

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindee Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Alyce Dickinson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Theoretically, perceptual information from the interaction with an object and its surfaces (an affordance) facilitates the development of motor skill. This study investigated the use of an affordance in learning control of flexion and extension of an above-elbow training prosthesis. Fifty-two male college students were randomly assigned to two training procedures: two, 1.5-minute periods of a joining dots activity with a flashlight attached to the hook of the prosthesis (affordance group), and practice moving the prosthesis at the elbow joint (no-affordance group) for the same amount of time. To assess generalization of skill to a different task, each subject traced a continuous line through a maze with a pen attached to the hook. Deviations from the line were measured. Data analysis using a Mann-Whitney U test revealed that subjects in the affordance group traced significantly better than subjects in the no-affordance group (p < .025).