Human subjects were instructed to point one hand to different visual targets which were randomly sequenced, using a paradigm which allowed two degrees of freedom (shoulder, elbow). The time course of the hand trajectory and the joint angular curves were observed. The latter exhibited patterns which change markedly for different movements, whereas the former preserve similar characteristics (in particular, a single peaked tangential velocity curve). The hypothesis is then formulated that the central command for these movements is formulated in terms of trajectories of the hand in space.
Key wordsArm trajectories Multiple degrees of freedom movements Tangential velocity Central motor commands
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