Movement preparation time determines movement variability
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Neurophysiology, 125, 6, (2021), pp. 2375-2383
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
Journal of Neurophysiology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Faster movements are typically more variable - a speed-accuracy tradeoff known as Fitts' law. Are movements that are initiated faster also more variable? Neurophysiological work has associated larger neural variability during motor preparation with longer reaction time (RT) and larger movement variability, implying that movement variability decreases with increasing RT. Here, we recorded over 30000 reaching movements in eleven human participants who moved to visually-cued targets. Half of the visual cues was accompanied by a beep to evoke a wide RT range in each participant. Results show that initial reach variability decreases with increasing RT, for voluntarily produced RTs up to ~300 ms, while other kinematic aspects and endpoint accuracy remained unaffected. We conclude that movement preparation time determines initial movement variability. We suggest that the chosen movement preparation time reflects a trade-off between movement initiation and precision.
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