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. 2017 Jan;235(1):29-40.
doi: 10.1007/s00221-016-4770-x. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

An Optimal Velocity for Online Limb-Target Regulation Processes?


An Optimal Velocity for Online Limb-Target Regulation Processes?

Luc Tremblay et al. Exp Brain Res. .


The utilization of visual information for the control of ongoing voluntary limb movements has been investigated for more than a century. Recently, online sensorimotor processes for the control of upper-limb reaches were hypothesized to include a distinct process related to the comparison of limb and target positions (i.e., limb-target regulation processes: Elliott et al. in Psychol Bull 136:1023-1044. doi: 10.1037/a0020958 , 2010). In the current study, this hypothesis was tested by presenting participants with brief windows of vision (20 ms) when the real-time velocity of the reaching limb rose above selected velocity criteria. One experiment tested the perceptual judgments of endpoint bias (i.e., under- vs. over-shoot), and another experiment tested the shifts in endpoint distributions following an imperceptible target jump. Both experiments revealed that limb-target regulation processes take place at an optimal velocity or "sweet spot" between movement onset and peak limb velocity (i.e., 1.0 m/s with the employed movement amplitude and duration). In contrast with pseudo-continuous models of online control (e.g., Elliott et al. in Hum Mov Sci 10:393-418. doi: 10.1016/0167-9457(91)90013-N , 1991), humans likely optimize online limb-target regulation processes by gathering visual information at a rather limited period of time, well in advance of peak limb velocity.

Keywords: Online control; Perception; Reaching; Target jump; Vision.

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