Characterizing and Modeling Human Arm Movements: Insights into Motor Organization

  • Tamar Flash
  • Irina Gurevich
  • Ealan Henis


The generation of human goal-directed multi-joint arm movements requires the central nervous system (CNS) to deal with complicated motion planning and control problems. These problems include the selection and planning of specific motions for the hand among the large number of possible ones, the transformation of the desired hand trajectory plans into appropriate joint rotations, and the generation of appropriate muscle forces and joint torques in order to execute the desired motion plans. In this article we will review several recent behavioral and modeling studies of human arm trajectory formation. These studies were aimed at characterizing and modeling human multi-joint arm movements and at investigating how the motor system copes with these complicated motion planning and control problems. The topics to be discussed will include hand trajectory planning during reaching and drawing movements, arm trajectory modification in response to unexpected changes in target location and motor adaptation to unexpected force perturbations introduced by means of external elastic loads. Then, the implications of our findings with respect to motor organization and possible neural correlates for the motion planning and motor execution and adaptation schemes suggested here will be discussed.


Joint Torque Hand Path Hand Trajectory Equilibrium Trajectory Drawing Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamar Flash
    • 1
  • Irina Gurevich
    • 2
  • Ealan Henis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer ScienceThe Weizmann Institute of ScienceRehovotIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Engineering and ManagementBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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