Self-organization of trajectory formation Academic Article uri icon


  • Most studies of movement coordination deal with temporal patterns of synchronization between components, often without regard to the actual amplitudes the components make. When such a system is required to produce a composite action that is spatially constrained, coordination persists, but its stability is modulated by spatial requirements effected, we hypothesize, through the component amplitudes. As shown experimentally in part I, when a redundant three-joint system (wrist, elbow, and shoulder) is required to trace a specified arc in space, the joint angles may be frequency- and phased-locked even as the curvature of the trajectory is manipulated. Transitions between joint coordination patterns occur at a critical curvature, accompanied by a significant reduction in wrist amplitude. Such amplitude reduction is viewed as destabilizing the existing coordinative pattern under current task constraints, thereby forcing the joints into a more stable phase relationship. This paper presents a theoretical analysis of these multijoint patterns and proposes an amplitude mechanism for the transition process. Our model uses three linearly coupled, nonlinear oscillators for the joint angles and reproduces both the observed interjoint coordination and component amplitude effects as well as the resulting trajectories of the end effector.

author list (cited authors)

  • de Guzman, G. C., Kelso, J., & Buchanan, J. J.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • May 1997