Document Detail

The modulatory influence of end-point controllability on decisions between actions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22773776     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recent work has shown that human subjects are able to predict the biomechanical ease of potential reaching movements and use these predictions to influence their choices. Here, we examined how reach decisions are influenced by specific biomechanical factors related to the control of end-point stability, such as aiming accuracy or stopping control. Human subjects made free choices between two potential reaching movements that varied in terms of path distance and biomechanical cost in four separate blocks that additionally varied two constraints: the width of the targets (narrow or wide) and the requirement of stopping in them. When movements were unconstrained (very wide targets and no requirement of stopping), subjects' choices were strongly biased toward directions aligned with the direction of maximal mobility. However, as the movements became progressively constrained, factors related to the control of the end point gained relevance, thus reducing this bias. This demonstrates that, before movement onset, constraints such as stopping and aiming participate in a remarkably adaptive and flexible action selection process that trades off the advantage of moving along directions of maximal mobility for unconstrained movements against exploiting biomechanical anisotropies to facilitate control of end-point stability whenever the movement constraints require it. These results support a view of decision making between motor actions as a highly context-dependent gradual process in which the subjective desirability of potential actions is influenced by their dynamic properties in relation to the intrinsic properties of the motor apparatus.
Ignasi Cos; Farid Medleg; Paul Cisek
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-07-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of neurophysiology     Volume:  108     ISSN:  1522-1598     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurophysiol.     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-09-17     Completed Date:  2013-01-11     Revised Date:  2013-02-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375404     Medline TA:  J Neurophysiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1764-80     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Physiology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Arm / physiology
Decision Making / physiology*
Erratum In:
J Neurophysiol. 2012 Nov;108(10):2862

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