Possible explanations for trajectory curvature in multijoint arm movements

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Date: June 1997
Publisher: American Psychological Association, Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 132 words

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Abstract :

Although the straightness of hand paths is a widely accepted feature of human multijoint reaching movement, detailed examinations have revealed slight curvatures in some regions of the workspace. This observation raises the question of whether planned trajectories are straight or curved. If they are straight, 3 possible factors can explain the observed curvatures: (a) imperfect control, (b) visual distortion, or (c) interaction between straight virtual trajectories and the dynamics of the arm. Participants instructed to generate straight movement paths produced movements much straighter than those generated spontaneously. Participants generated spontaneously curved trajectories in the frontoparallel plane, where visual distortion is not expected. Electromyograms suggested that participants generated straighter paths without an increase in arm stiffness. These findings argue against the 3 factors. It follows that planned trajectories are likely to be curved.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A19553104