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  • Author: Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek x
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David A. Rosenbaum, Ruud J.G. Meulenbroek, Jonathan Vaughan, and Catherine Elsinger

The hypothesis introduced by Smeets and Brenner concerning the perpendicular approach of the thumb and index finger during grasping has heuristic value, but it also has limitations. Among the limitations are the following: (a) the approach parameter is not directly testable and it is unclear how the values of deceleration at contact and movement time are set theoretically; (b) it is questionable that motion of the thumb and index finger are independent; (c) reliance on the minimum-jerk account ignores critiques of that account; and (d) the model begs the question of how the effectors proximal to the index finger and thumb are controlled. We briefly review an alternative model that can handle these challenges.

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Mary D. Klein Breteler, Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek, and Stan C.A.M. Gielen

In the present study we evaluated the minimum-jerk and the minimum torque-change model at the path, trajectory, and movement-cost levels. To date, most evaluations of these models have mainly been restricted to path comparisons. Assessments of the time courses of realized jerk and torque changes are surprisingly lacking. Moreover, the extent to which the presumed optimized parameters change as a function of the duration and other temporal features of aiming movements has never been investigated, most probably because the models presuppose movement time. In order to till mis gap, we analyzed a subset of the data of an earlier experiment in which 12 participants performed leftward and rightward planar pointing movements. Hand displacements and joint excursions were recorded with a 3D motion-tracking system and subsequently evaluated by means of model-based analyses. The results show that despite a good agreement between observed paths and predicted paths, especially by the minimum torque-change model, the time courses of jerk and torque changes of observed and modeled movements differed considerably. These differences could mainly be attributed to asymmetrical properties of the time functions of slow movements. Variations of movement costs as a function of movement lime and skewness of tangential velocity profiles show that, especially at high movement speed, costs increase exponentially with departures of symmetry. It is concluded that trajectory-formation models have limited explanatory power in situations that require demanding information processing during the homing-in phase of goal-directed movements. However. for slow movements, deviations from the optimal timing profiles require little extra costs in terms of jerk or torque change.

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Werner A.F. van de Ven, Jurjen Bosga, Wim Hullegie, Wiebe C. Verra, and Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek

The present study explores variations in the degree of automaticity and predictability of cyclical arm and leg movements. Twenty healthy adults were asked to walk on a treadmill at a lower-than-preferred speed, their preferred speed, and at a higher-than-preferred speed. In a separate, repetitive punching task, the three walking frequencies were used to cue the target pace of the cyclical arm movements. Movements of the arms, legs, and trunk were digitized with inertial sensors. Whereas absolute slope values (|β|) of the linear fit to the power spectrum of the digitized movements (p < .001, η2 = .676) were systematically smaller in treadmill walking than in repetitive punching, sample entropy measures (p < .001, η2 = .570) were larger reflecting the former task being more automated but also less predictable than the latter task. In both tasks, increased speeds enhanced automatized control (p < .001, η2 = .475) but reduced movement predictability (p = .008, η2 = .225). The latter findings are potentially relevant when evaluating effects of task demand changes in clinical contexts.