Transformation of the intended direction of movement during continuous motor trajectories

Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology - 1997-11-10Pellizzer G
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.