Limb segment recruitment as a function of movement direction, amplitude, and speed
SourceJournal of Motor Behavior, 28, 3, (1996), pp. 241-254
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Journal of Motor Behavior
Coordination of limb segments in graphic motor behavior has been studied primarily in cyclic tasks. In the present study, limb segment recruitment patterns were investigated in a discrete line-drawing task. Subjects (N = 11) performed pointing movements varying in direction, amplitude, and speed. The contributions of index finger, hand, and arm to the movement were analyzed by evaluating the angular displacements in 7 joint dimensions. The results showed that amplitude and direction affected limb segment involvement in the same way they have been reported to affect it in cyclic movements. Upward left- (up-left) directed movements were primarily achieved by fingers and arm, whereas upward right- (up-right) directed movements were accomplished with the hand and the arm. Large amplitudes elicited not only an increase of proximal but also a decrease of distal limb segment involvement, especially in the up-left direction. In the present discrete pointing task, effects of speed on limb segment involvement were different from speed effects that were observed earlier in cyclic tasks: Larger limb segments became more involved in fast than in slow discrete movements. With respect to the timing of limb segment recruitment, all joints tended to move simultaneously, but small deviations from synchronous joint movement onset and offset were present. The results are discussed in the context of recent theories of limb segment coordination.
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