Correlations for timing consistency among tapping and drawing tasks: evidence against a single timing process for motor control

J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1999 Oct;25(5):1316-30. doi: 10.1037//0096-1523.25.5.1316.


Three experiments were conducted to examine whether timing processes can be shared by continuous tapping and drawing tasks. In all 3 experiments, temporal precision in tapping was not related to temporal precision in continuous drawing. There were modest correlations among the tapping tasks, and there were significant correlations among the drawing tasks. In Experiment 3, the function relating timing variance to the square of the observed movement duration for tapping was different from that for drawing. The conclusions drawn were that timing is not an ability to be shared by a variety of tasks but instead that the temporal qualities of skilled movement are the result of the specific processes necessary to produce a trajectory. These results are consistent with the idea that timing is an emergent property of movement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Factors