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Liebermann, D. G., Krasovsky, T., & Berman, S. (2008). Planning maximally smooth hand movements constrained to nonplanar workspaces. J Mot Behav, 40(6), 516–531.
Abstract: The article characterizes hand paths and speed profiles for movements performed in a nonplanar, 2-dimensional workspace (a hemisphere of constant curvature). The authors assessed endpoint kinematics (i.e., paths and speeds) under the minimum-jerk model assumptions and calculated minimal amplitude paths (geodesics) and the corresponding speed profiles. The authors also calculated hand speeds using the 2/3 power law. They then compared modeled results with the empirical observations. In all, 10 participants moved their hands forward and backward from a common starting position toward 3 targets located within a hemispheric workspace of small or large curvature. Comparisons of modeled observed differences using 2-way RM-ANOVAs showed that movement direction had no clear influence on hand kinetics (p < .05). Workspace curvature affected the hand paths, which seldom followed geodesic lines. Constraining the paths to different curvatures did not affect the hand speed profiles. Minimum-jerk speed profiles closely matched the observations and were superior to those predicted by 2/3 power law (p < .001). The authors conclude that speed and path cannot be unambiguously linked under the minimum-jerk assumption when individuals move the hand in a nonplanar 2-dimensional workspace. In such a case, the hands do not follow geodesic paths, but they preserve the speed profile, regardless of the geometric features of the workspace.
Keywords: Adaptation, Physiological; Adult; Algorithms; Female; Hand/*physiology; Humans; *Intention; Kinesthesis/*physiology; Male; Models, Statistical; Movement/*physiology; Psychomotor Performance/*physiology; Reference Values; Writing
Liebermann, D. G., & Defrin, R. (2009). Characteristics of the nociceptive withdrawal response elicited under aware and unaware conditions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 19(2), e114–22.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nociceptive withdrawal reflexes (NWR) are subject to supraspinal modulation. Therefore, awareness about a noxious stimulation may affect its characteristics. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of different degrees of awareness on the NWR. METHOD: Eight subjects performed back and forth hand movements from a common starting point towards four visual targets during which NWR was evoked when subjects were either unaware or aware of a noxious stimulation (unaware-NWR and aware-NWR). For the comparison between the NWR under both conditions, onset latencies and kinematic variables were computed respectively from the recorded Biceps Brachii EMG and from the spatial coordinates of hand reflective markers. RESULTS: The onset latency of unaware-NWR (mean+/-SD 73.9+/-13 ms) was significantly shorter than that of the aware-NWR (91.1+/-27 ms, p<0.05). The total duration of the muscular activation was shorter in unaware-NWR than in aware-NWR. The slopes of the tangential velocity-time curves were steeper for unaware-NWR than for aware-NWR (p=0.057). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that supraspinal regulation of NWR under different degrees of awareness involves the re-parameterization of selected spatiotemporal aspects of a pre-structured motor response.
Keywords: Adult; Arm/*physiopathology; Attention; *Awareness; Cues; Female; Humans; Male; Movement; *Muscle Contraction; Muscle, Skeletal/*physiopathology; Pain/*physiopathology; *Reflex; *Startle Reaction
Biess, A., Liebermann, D. G., & Flash, T. (2007). A computational model for redundant human three-dimensional pointing movements: integration of independent spatial and temporal motor plans simplifies movement dynamics. J Neurosci, 27(48), 13045–13064.
Abstract: Few computational models have addressed the spatiotemporal features of unconstrained three-dimensional (3D) arm motion. Empirical observations made on hand paths, speed profiles, and arm postures during point-to-point movements led to the assumption that hand path and arm posture are independent of movement speed, suggesting that the geometric and temporal properties of movements are decoupled. In this study, we present a computational model of 3D movements for an arm with four degrees of freedom based on the assumption that optimization principles are separately applied at the geometric and temporal levels of control. Geometric properties (path and posture) are defined in terms of geodesic paths with respect to the kinetic energy metric in the Riemannian configuration space. Accordingly, a geodesic path can be generated with less muscular effort than on any other, nongeodesic path, because the sum of all configuration-speed-dependent torques vanishes. The temporal properties of the movement (speed) are determined in task space by minimizing the squared jerk along the selected end-effector path. The integration of both planning levels into a single spatiotemporal representation simplifies the control of arm dynamics along geodesic paths and results in movements with near minimal torque change and minimal peak value of kinetic energy. Thus, the application of Riemannian geometry allows for a reconciliation of computational models previously proposed for the description of arm movements. We suggest that geodesics are an emergent property of the motor system through the exploration of dynamical space. Our data validated the predictions for joint trajectories, hand paths, final postures, speed profiles, and driving torques.
Keywords: Analysis of Variance; Arm/physiology; Biomechanics; *Computer Simulation; Humans; *Models, Biological; Movement/*physiology; *Nonlinear Dynamics; Posture/physiology; Psychomotor Performance/*physiology; Range of Motion, Articular/physiology; Reaction Time/physiology; Space Perception/*physiology; Time Factors; Torque
|Flash, T., Richardson, M. E., Handzel, A. A., & Liebermann, D. G. (2003). Computational Models and Geometric Approaches in Arm Trajectory Control Studies. In M. L. Latash, & M. F. Levin (Eds.), Progress in Motor Control III: From Basic Science to Applications. Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.|
|Liebermann, D. G., & Franks, I. M. (2004). The use of feedback-based technologies in skill acquisition. In M. Hughes, & I.M. Franks (Eds.), Notational analysis of Sport and Coaching Science. E & FN Spon Pub.|