Corrective jitter motion shows similar individual frequencies for the arm and the finger

Exp Brain Res. 2015 Apr;233(4):1307-20. doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4204-1. Epub 2015 Jan 29.


A characteristic of visuomotor tracking of non-regular oscillating stimuli are high-frequency jittery corrective motions, oscillating around the tracked stimuli. However, the properties of these corrective jitter responses are not well understood. For example, does the jitter response show an idiosyncratic signature? What is the relationship between stimuli properties and jitter properties? Is the jitter response similar across effectors with different inertial properties? To answer these questions, we measured participants' jitter frequencies in two tracking tasks in the arm and the finger. Thirty participants tracked the same set of eleven non-regular oscillating stimuli, vertically moving on a screen, once with forward-backward arm movements (holding a tablet stylus) and once with upward-downward index finger movements (with a motion tracker attached). Participants' jitter frequencies and tracking errors varied systematically as a function of stimuli frequency and amplitude. Additionally, there were clear individual differences in average jitter frequencies between participants, ranging from 0.7 to 1.15 Hz, similar to values reported previously. A comparison of individual jitter frequencies in the two tasks showed a strong correlation between participants' jitter frequencies in the finger and the arm, despite the very different inertial properties of the two effectors. This result suggests that the corrective jitter response stems from common neural processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arm / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motion*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Statistics as Topic