Constraints on Arm Selection Processes When Reaching: Degrees of Freedom and Joint Amplitudes Interact to Influence Limb Selection Academic Article uri icon


  • With an interest in identifying the variables that constrain arm choice when reaching, the authors had 11 right-handed participants perform free-choice and assigned-limb reaches at 9 object positions. The right arm was freely selected 100% of the time when reaching to positions at 30° and 40° into right hemispace. However, the left arm was freely selected to reach to positions at -30° and -40° in left hemispace 85% of the time. A comparison between free- and assigned-limb reaching kinematics revealed that free limb selection when reaching to the farthest positions was constrained by joint amplitude requirements and the time devoted to limb deceleration. Differences between free- and assigned-arm reaches were not evident when reaching to the midline and positions of ±10°, even though the right arm was freely selected most often for these positions. Different factors contribute to limb selection as a function of distance into a specific hemispace.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, W., Buchanan, J., & Gabbard, C.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • September 2011