Influence of viscous loads on motor planning

Kurt A. Thoroughman, Wei Wang, Dimitre N. Tomov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Here we computationally investigate how encumbering the hand could alter predictions made by the minimum torque change (MTC) and minimum endpoint variance hypotheses (MEPV) of movement planning. After minutes of training, people have made arm trajectories in a robot-generated viscous force field that were similar to previous baseline trajectories without the force field. We simulate the human arm interacting with this viscous load. We found that the viscous forces clearly differentiated MTC and MEPV predictions from both minimum-jerk predictions and from human behavior. We conclude that learned behavior in the viscous environment could arise from minimizing kinematic costs but could not arise from a minimization of either torque change or endpoint variance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-877
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2007


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