Planning reaches by evaluating stored postures

Psychol Rev. 1995 Jan;102(1):28-67. doi: 10.1037/0033-295x.102.1.28.


This article describes a theory of the computations underlying the selection of coordinated motion patterns, especially in reaching tasks. The central idea is that when a spatial target is selected as an object to be reached, stored postures are evaluated for the contributions they can make to the task. Weights are assigned to the stored postures, and a single target posture is found by taking a weighted sum of the stored postures. Movement is achieved by reducing the distance between the starting angle and target angle of each joint. The model explains compensation for reduced joint mobility, tool use, practice effects, performance errors, and aspects of movement kinematics. Extensions of the model can account for anticipation and coarticulation effects, movement through via points, and hierarchical control of series of movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Distance Perception / physiology
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology
  • Kinesthesis* / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Orientation* / physiology
  • Posture* / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance* / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology