Remembered positions: Stored locations or stored postures?
SourceExperimental Brain Research, 124, 4, (1999), pp. 503-512
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Experimental Brain Research
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Many recent studies indicated that memory for final position is superior to memory for movement. There is ambiguity about what is meant by the term final position, however. Is it final spatial location or final posture? According to a recently proposed theory (Rosenbaum et al., 1995), which maintains that stored postures form the basis for movement planning, when people try to return to recently reached positions, they should try to adopt the postures they just occupied. An alternative view, which holds that movements are primarily planned with respect to spatial locations, predicts that subjects should try to return to places in external space. We describe an experiment that tested these opposing predictions. The experiment relied on the notion that if people store and use postures, they should 'copy' the posture adopted with one arm to the other arm when possible. The results support the posture-copying hypothesis.
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