Two-phase strategy of neural control for planar reaching movements: II-relation to spatiotemporal characteristics of movement trajectory.

Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Experimentation cerebrale

PubMedID: 23811737

Rand MK, Shimansky YP. Two-phase strategy of neural control for planar reaching movements: II-relation to spatiotemporal characteristics of movement trajectory. Exp Brain Res. 2013;230(1):1-13.
In the companion paper utilizing a quantitative model of optimal motor coordination (Part I, Rand and Shimansky, in Exp Brain Res 225:55-73, 2013), we examined coordination between X and Y movement directions (XYC) during reaching movements performed under three prescribed speeds, two movement amplitudes, and two target sizes. The obtained results indicated that the central nervous system (CNS) utilizes a two-phase strategy, where the initial and the final phases correspond to lower and higher precision of information processing, respectively, for controlling goal-directed reach-type movements to optimize the total cost of task performance including the cost of neural computations. The present study investigates how two different well-known concepts used for describing movement performance relate to the concepts of optimal XYC and two-phase control strategy. First, it is examined to what extent XYC is equivalent to movement trajectory straightness. The data analysis results show that the variability, the movement trajectory's deviation from the straight line, increases with an increase in prescribed movement speed. In contrast, the dependence of XYC strength on movement speed is opposite (in total agreement with an assumption of task performance optimality), suggesting that XYC is a feature of much higher level of generality than trajectory straightness. Second, it is tested how well the ballistic and the corrective components described in the traditional concept of two-component model of movement performance match with the initial and the final phase of the two-phase control strategy, respectively. In fast reaching movements, the percentage of trials with secondary corrective submovement was smaller under larger-target shorter-distance conditions. In slower reaching movements, meaningful parsing was impossible due to massive fluctuations in the kinematic profile throughout the movement. Thus, the parsing points determined by the conventional submovement analysis did not consistently reflect separation between the ballistic and error-corrective components. In contrast to the traditional concept of two-component movement performance, the concept of two-phase control strategy is applicable to a wide variety of experimental conditions.