Transformation of the intended direction of movement during continuous motor trajectories

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9 Scopus citations


Chronometric and neurophysiological studies have demonstrated that mentally transforming the intended direction of a pointing movement is a time-consuming process, the duration of which increases with the angle of rotation. If the same time-consuming process occurred while tracing a curved trajectory, it would affect the time course of the movement. The data from subjects drawing simple figures match well the predictions made, and support the hypothesis that a time-consuming process of transformation of the intended movement direction operates during the production of continuous trajectories. This biologically inspired hypothesis provides a functional explanation for the relation between speed of the movement and curvature of the path. In addition, it contrasts with the view of continuous movements as essentially oscillatory motions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3447-3452
Number of pages6
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Curvature
  • Human
  • Kinematics
  • Lissajous figures
  • Mental rotation
  • Speed


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