Journal of Motor Behavior (J MOTOR BEHAV )

Publisher: Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, Heldref Publications


Journal of Motor Behavior is devoted to an understanding of the basic processes and mechanisms underlying motor control, learning, and development. The journal publishes articles from such diverse disciplines as biomechanics, kinesiology, movement disorders, neuroscience, psychology, and rehabilitation. A wide variety of articles report empirical findings, mathematical and computational models, and new theories and theoretical perspectives, as well as methodological and technological developments. Review articles and invited articles by recognized authorities also appear.

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  • Website
    Journal of Motor Behavior website
  • Other titles
    Journal of motor behavior, JMB
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  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Heldref Publications

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    • Archiving status unclear
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    • Archiving status unclear
  • Conditions
    • Publisher last contacted 3rd February 2010
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    ​ white

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Treadmill locomotion can be characterized by consistent step-to-step kinematics despite the redundant degrees of freedom. The authors investigated the effect of disrupting the crural fascia in decerebrate cats to determine if the crural fascia contributed to kinematic variability and propulsion in the limb. Crural fasciotomy resulted in statistically significant decreases in velocity and acceleration in the joint angles during level walking, before, during, and after paw-off, particularly at the ankle. A further finding was an increase in variance of the limb segment trajectories in the frontal plane. The crural fascia therefore provides force transmission and reduction in kinematic variability to the limb during locomotion.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT When passing through apertures, individuals scale their actions to their shoulder width and rotate their shoulders or avoid apertures that are deemed too small for straight passage. Carrying objects wider than the body produces a person-plus-object system that individuals must account for in order to pass through apertures safely. The present study aimed to determine whether individuals scale their critical point to the widest horizontal dimension (shoulder or object width). Two responses emerged: Fast adapters adapted to the person-plus-object system by maintaining a consistent critical point regardless of whether the object was carried while slow adapters initially increased their critical point (overestimated) before adapting back to their original critical point. The results suggest that individuals can account for increases in body width by scaling actions to the size of the object width but people adapt at different rates.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 05/2014;
  • Journal of Motor Behavior 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aftereffect measures of visual shift and proprioceptive shift were obtained for prism exposure conditions in which, at the end of a sagittal pointing movement, most of the arm was visible (concurrent exposure) or only the first finger joint was visible (terminal exposure). Intermediate exposure conditions permitted view of the hand or the first two finger joints. Under the concurrent exposure condition, proprioceptive shift was greater than visual shift but, as view of the pointing hand decreased, the relative magnitude of the two components gradually reversed so that, under the terminal exposure condition, visual shift was greater than proprioceptive shift. These results are discussed in terms of a model of perceptual-motor organization (Redding, Clark, & Wallace, 1985) in which the direction of coordinative linkage between eye-head and hand-head systems determines the locus of discordance and adaptive recalibration.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 20(3):242-254.
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    ABSTRACT: Two experiments investigated the memory drum theory’s prediction (Henry & Rogers, 1960) that simple reaction time (SRT) increased with the complexity of the response to be initiated. Experiment 1 (N = 9) matched the Experiment 1, Group 1, SRT condition described by Henry and Rogers. Results of Experiment 1 replicated those of Henry and Rogers and indicated that the memory drum theory’s prediction of increased SRT as a function of increased complexity of response was tenable. Experiment 2 (N = 11) tested the effects of anatomical unit, extent, and target size on SRT, premotor time, and motor time. The results supported the contention that alternative explanations for SRT were possible. With complexity constant, increases in anatomical unit lead to increases in SRT, but only in the motor time component which indicated electromechanical rather than neuromotor program delays. It is proposed that the increased motor time could be explained by peripheral events such as the duration maximum torque must be applied by the agonist muscle(s) to generate the angular acceleration required to initiate rapid movement. SRT, premotor time, and motor time increased when target size was reduced from 6.35 cm to .79 cm. The increased premotor time could be a function of the determining of new equilibrium points for the elbow joint during response initiation. No effects on SRT were observed for extent.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 14(3):228-246.
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    ABSTRACT: A continuing program of research, which is concerned with identifying brain mechanisms underlying stuttering through an analysis of manual motor control, is described. Clear evidence has been found that the neural mechanisms associated with sequential responding (and, by implication, with speech) are lateralized in stutterers as they are in nonstutterers. Although no gross or general in-coordination has been found in motor performance by most stutterers, their left hemisphere mechanisms appear to be inefficient for organizing and initiating new sequences of responses and vulnerable to interference from other neural activities. Results of research on bimanual coordination in stutterers are consistent with a model that attributes the interference, in part, to interhemispheric processes, possibly involving the supplementary motor area. One implication of the research is that the disfluency of stuttering is onfy one manifestation of a more general disfunction in motor and cognitive organization and planning.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 22(4):553-571.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that the superior accuracy of preselected (subject-defined) over constrained (experimenter-defined) movements is due to both the availability of a movement plan and efferent-command information. The present experiment examined the contribution of the planning and efferent components to the preselection effect in a location and a distance task. The availability of a movement plan was manipulated by providing preselected and constrained groups of subjects with a rehearsal movement. Furthermore, the amount of efferent information available was varied by requiring both active and passive rehearsal movements. The results suggested that while strategy alone is responsible for the superiority of preselected location, both strategy and efferent information underlie the superiority of preselected distance reproduction.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 13(2):65-76.
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents a tentative theoretical framework for the study of asymmetry in the context of human bimanual action. It is emphasized that in man most skilled manual activities involve two hands playing different roles, a fact that has been often overlooked in the experimental study of human manual lateralization.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 19(4):486-517.
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    ABSTRACT: The present paper provides some hypotheses concerning the role of sensorimotor mechanisms in the coordination and programming of multimovement behaviors. The primary database is from experiments on the control of speech, a motor behavior that inherently requires multimovement coordination. From these data, it appears that coordination may be implemented by calibrated, sensorimotor actions which couple multiple movements for the accomplishment of common functional goals. The data from speech and select observations in other motor systems also reveal that these sensorimotor linkages are task-dependent and may underlie the intermovement motor equivalence that characterizes many natural motor behaviors. In this context, it is hypothesized also that motor learning may involve the calibration of these intermovement sensorimotor actions. These observations in turn provide some alternative perspectives on the concept of a motor program, primarily suggesting that individual movements and muscle contractions are not wholly prespecified, but shaped by sensorimotor adjustments.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 16(2):195-232.
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    ABSTRACT: It is proposed that the human motor system is organized to use hard-ware and/or software non-linear oscillator mechanisms, the output of these oscillators being responsible for driving the limbs via signals to muscle groups. Following earlier theoretical development, it is argued that these muscle groupings act as a unit and themselves are likely to behave as a non-linear system. The attributes of non-linear oscillators are many, and they are potentially significant for the explanation of motor behavior. This paper reviews and presents recent experiments that investigated the properties of muscular aftercontraction. The basic finding shows that subsequent to a period of moderate strain against a fixed surface the treated limb exhibits prolonged involuntary molar oscillations in the plane of the treatment. These results provide for the presence of driving oscillator mechanisms in the human motor apparatus. The mechanisms show generality of action in that directed attention can lead to oscillation of untreated limbs. Overall, the experiments showed that the movements exhibited the mutual interaction, synchronization, and preservation of phase relationships that are fundamental properties of non-linear oscillators. The picture that emerges is that these mechanisms can drive involuntary movements that are richly patterned: like slow versions of voluntary movements. The aftercontraction phenomenon proves to be an excellent tool for research on the oscillatory substrate of human motor organization.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 18(2):117-145.
  • Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 21(2):157-162.
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    ABSTRACT: If slow positioning movements are governed only by a recognition process (e.g., Schmidt, 1975) then subject’s performance should be independent of the mode of response (active versus passive). Two groups learned a criterion movement under either active or passive conditions following which KR was withdrawn. Although no differences were apparent on acquisition trials, active-group performance deteriorated dramatically during KR withdrawal while passive-group performance remained stable. These results suggest that recall and recognition are potentially separable in slow movements on the basis of the information available to the performer.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 10(1):69-76.
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments using rapid-positioning movements in humans, where the subject is suddenly and unexpectedly provided with a change in the load characteristics of the limb, are described. Taken together, the pattern of results supports a mass-spring model of unidirectional limb action, where the limb moves to a position defined by the relative tensions in the agonist and antagonist. As well, various results provide evidence contrary to predictions from an impulse-timing viewpoint, where the motor program times the onset of impulses to the musculature, and against a feedback-processing viewpoint, where limb position is defined by minimizing positioning error indicated by feedback. The evidence suggests that the role of phasing in motor programs may be different for unidirectional actions on the one hand and multi-directional and/or multi-component actions on the other.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 12(2):149-161.
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    ABSTRACT: The study of sign languages provides a promising vehicle for investigating language production because the movements of the articulators in sign are directly observable. Movement of the hands and arms is an essential element not only in the lexical structure of American Sign Language (ASL), but most strikingly, in the grammatical structure of ASL: It is in patterned changes of the movement of signs that many grammatical attributes are represented. The “phonological„ (formational) structure of movement in ASL surely reflects in part constraints on the channel through which it is conveyed. We evaluate the relation between one neuromotor constraint on movement–regulation of final position rather than of movement amplitude–and the phonological structure of movement in ASL. We combine three-dimensional measurements of ASL movements with linguistic analyses of the distinctiveness and predictability of the final position (location) versus the amplitude (length). We show that final position, not movement amplitude, is distinctive in the language and that a phonological rule in ASL predicts variation in movement amplitude–a development which may reflect a neuromuscular constraint on the articulatory mechanism through which the language is conveyed.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 15(1):2-18.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies were made of rapid error correction movements in eight subjects performing a visually guided tracking task involving flexion-extension movements about the elbow. Subjects were required to minimize reaction times in this two-choice task. Errors in initial movement direction occurred in about 3% of the trials. Error correction times (time from initiation to reversal of movement in incorrect direction) ranged from 30-150 ms. The first sign of correction of the error movement was a suppression of the electromyographic (EMG) activity in the muscle producing the error movement. This suppression started as early as 20-40 ms after the initiation of the error-related EMG activity and as much as 50 ms before any overt sign of limb movement. The correction of the error movement was also accompanied by an increase in the drive to the muscle which moved the arm in the correct direction. This increased activity always occurred after the initiation of the error movement. It is concluded that the first step in the error correction, suppression of drive to the muscle producing the error movement, cannot be based on information from the moving limb. It is thus suggested that this earliest response to the error movement is based on central monitoring of the commands for movement.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 16(4):348-363.
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    ABSTRACT: The degree to which blocked (VE) data satisfies the assumptions of compound symmetry required for a repeated measures ANOVA was studied. Monte Carlo procedures were used to study the effect of violation of this assumption, under varying block sizes, on the Type I error rate. Populations of 10,000 subjects for each of two groups, the underlying variance-covariance matrices reflecting a specific condition of violation of the homogeneity of covariance assumptions, were generated based on each of three actual experimental data sets. The data were blocked in various ways, VE calculated, and subsequently analyzed by a repeated measures ANOVA. The complete process was replicated for four covariance homogeneity conditions for each of the three data sets, resulting in a total of 22,000 simulated experiments. Results indicated that the Type I error rate increases as the degree of heterogeneity within the variance-covariance matrices increases when raw (unblocked) data are analyzed. With VE, the effects of within-matrix heterogeneity on the Type I error rate are inconclusive. However, block size does seem to affect the probability of obtaining a significant interaction, but the nature of this relationship is not clear as there does not appear to be any consistent relationship between the size of the block and the probability of obtaining significance. For both raw and VE data there was no inflation in the number of Type I errors when the covariances within a given matrix were homogeneous, regardless of the differences between the group variance-covariance matrices.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 15(1):74-95.
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    ABSTRACT: The experiment compares the performances of children six to nine years old and adults in a simple, monoarticular lifting task. Overt behaviors, as described by the kinematic features of the movement, do not differ qualitatively in the two groups. The patterns of motor commands, as expressed by the electromyographic recordings, are however strikingly different. Adults plan the movement with a careful balance between agonist muscle activity and passive, viscoelastic forces, whereas children use both agonist and antagonist active forces. It is argued that the motor strategy adopted by adults depends upon an internal representation of the properties of the motor system and of the size/weight covariation in natural objects, and that this representation is not yet fully developed at nine years of age.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 15(3):202-216.
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    ABSTRACT: A recent article (Klapp, Abbott, Coffman, Greim, Snider, and Young, 1979) has concluded that central time demands of motor programming can only be determined by choice reaction time methodology. A critique of the theoretical position and results of this study is made showing that this conclusion is unwarranted. We go on to suggest that the simple vs. choice reaction time controversy might only be clouding a more basic issue in motor programming research: viz., identification of relevant internal response variables. Finally, a case is made for the notion that the choice reaction time paradigm may produce response competition (interference) effects and as a result confound measures presumed to reflect only the processes involved in the organization of movement.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 13(4):313-319.
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    ABSTRACT: In many activities, the human being must quickly decide on the response to be produced following a change in the environment. In some of these situations, the limb that the individual chooses to carry out a response seems to be a significant element in performance. Thus, if the individual carries out the response with the limb closest to the target, the performance can improve because it will take less time to achieve the goal. However, it seems that in these situations, the human being does not take this decrease in movement time into consideration and that the response is carried out with the dominant hand. Why is this so? It may be because the reaction is faster when there doesn’t have to be a choice as to which limb will carry out the response. The goal of this study was to check this possibility. In order to do so, the subjects performed a two choice reaction-time task. For this task, some subjects knew beforehand which hand they had to use to carry out the response while other subjects were unaware of this fact. The results of two experiments indicate that the choice of the limb which is to carry out the response requires no particular delay when the movement to be produced is externally guided.
    Journal of Motor Behavior 08/2013; 16(3):302-312.