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Intrinsic joint kinematic planning. II: Hand-path predictions based on a Listing’s plane constraint

  • D. G. LiebermannEmail author
  • A. Biess
  • C. C. A. M. Gielen
  • T. Flash
Research Article

Abstract

This study was aimed at examining the assumption that three-dimensional (3D) hand movements follow specific paths that are dictated by the operation of a Listing’s law constraint at the intrinsic joint level of the arm. A kinematic model was used to simulate hand paths during 3D point-to-point movements. The model was based on the assumption that the shoulder obeys a 2D Listing’s constraint and that rotations are about fixed single-axes. The elbow rotations were assumed to relate linearly to those of the shoulder. Both joints were assumed to rotate without reversals, and to start and end rotating simultaneously with zero initial and final velocities. Model predictions were compared to experimental observations made on four right-handed individuals that moved toward virtual objects in “extended arm”, “radial”, and “frontal plane” movement types. The results showed that the model was partially successful in accounting for the observed behavior. Best hand-path predictions were obtained for extended arm movements followed by radial ones. Frontal plane movements resulted in the largest discrepancies between the predicted and the observed paths. During such movements, the upper arm rotation vectors did not obey Listing’s law and this may explain the observed discrepancies. For other movement types, small deviations from the predicted paths were observed which could be explained by the fact that single-axis rotations were not followed even though the rotation vectors remained within Listing’s plane. Dynamic factors associated with movement execution, which were not taken into account in our purely kinematic approach, could also explain some of these small discrepancies. In conclusion, a kinematic model based on Listing’s law can describe an intrinsic joint strategy for the control of arm orientation during pointing and reaching movements, but only in conditions in which the movements closely obey the Listing’s plane assumption.

Keywords

Listing’s law Joint kinematics End-point path model 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Jason Friedman for his comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported in part by a research grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science and by the Moross laboratory. Tamar Flash is an incumbent of the Hymie Moross Professorial chair.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. G. Liebermann
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • A. Biess
    • 2
  • C. C. A. M. Gielen
    • 3
  • T. Flash
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy, Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer ScienceWeizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Medical Physics and BiophysicsUniversity of NijmegenEZ NijmegenThe Netherlands

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