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Andrew D. Wilson, David R. Collins, Geoffrey P. Bingham; Human movement coordination implicates relative direction as the information for relative phase. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):346. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/5.8.346.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The current studies explore the informational (perceptual) basis of the coupling in human rhythmic movement coordination tasks. Movement stability in these tasks is an asymmetric U-shaped function of mean relative phase; 0° is maximally stable, 90° is maximally unstable and 180° is intermediate. Bingham (2001, 2004a, 2004b) hypothesized that the information used to perform coordinated rhythmic movement is the relative direction of movement, the resolution of which is determined by relative speed. We used an experimental paradigm that entails using a circular movement to produce a linear motion of a dot on a screen, which must then be coordinated with a linearly moving computer controlled dot. The circularity adds a component to the movement that is orthogonal to the display. Relative direction is not uniquely defined between orthogonal components of motion, but relative speed is; based on Bingham (2001, 2004a, 2004b) it was predicted that the addition of the component would only introduce a symmetric noise component and not otherwise contribute to the U-shape structure of movement stability. Results for Experiment 1 supported the hypothesis; movement that involved the additional component was uniformly less stable than movement that involved only parallel component along which relative direction can be defined. Two additional studies ruled out alternative explanations for the pattern of data in Experiment 1. Overall, the results strongly implicate relative direction as the information underlying performance in rhythmic movement coordination tasks.
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