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21-07-2017 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2018

Psychological Research 6/2018

Distinct and flexible rates of online control

Psychological Research > Uitgave 6/2018
John de Grosbois, Luc Tremblay


Elliott et al. (Hum Mov Sci 10:393–418, 1991) proposed a pseudocontinuous model of online control whereby overlapping corrections lead to the appearance of smooth kinematic profiles in the presence of online feedback. More recently, it was also proposed that online control is not a singular process [see Elliott et al. (Psychol Bull 136(6):1023–1044, 2010)]. However, support for contemporary models of online control were based on methodologies that were not designed to be sensitive to different online control sub-processes. The current study sought to evaluate the possibility of multiple distinct (i.e., visual and non-visual) mechanisms contributing to the control of reaching movements completed in either a full-vision, a no-vision, or a no-vision memory-guided condition. Frequency domain analysis was applied to the acceleration traces of reaching movements. In an attempt to elicit a modulation in the online control mechanisms, these movements were completed at two levels of spatio-temporal constraint, namely with 10 and 30 cm target distances. One finding was that performance in the full-vision relative to both no-vision conditions could be distinguished via two distinct frequency peaks. Increases in the peak magnitude at the lower frequencies were associated with visuomotor mechanisms and increases in the peak magnitude at the higher frequencies were associated with non-visual mechanisms. In addition, performance to the 30-cm target led to a lower peak at a lower frequency relative to the 10 cm target, indicating that the iterative rates of visuomotor control mechanisms are flexible and sensitive to the spatio-temporal constraints of the associated movement.

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