Moving effortlessly in three dimensions

Does Donders' law apply to arm movement?

J. F. Soechting, Christopher Buneo, U. Herrmann, M. Flanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

232 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Donders' law, as applied to the arm, predicts that to every location of the hand in space there corresponds a unique posture of the arm as defined by shoulder and elbow angles. This prediction was tested experimentally by asking human subjects to make pointing movements to a select number of target locations starting from a wide range of initial hand locations. The posture of the arm was measured at the start and end of every movement by means of video cameras. It was found that, in general, the posture of the arm at a given hand location does depend on the starting location of the movement and that, consequently, Donders' law is violated in this experimental condition. Kinematic and kinetic factors that could account for the variations in arm posture were investigated. It proved impossible to predict the final posture of the arm purely from kinematics, based on the initial posture of the arm. One hypothesis was successful in predicting final arm postures, namely that the final posture minimizes the amount of work that must be done to transport the arm from the starting location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6271-6280
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume15
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Posture
Arm
Hand
Biomechanical Phenomena
Elbow

Keywords

  • arm movements
  • Donders' law
  • minimum energy
  • minimum work
  • optimization
  • reaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Moving effortlessly in three dimensions : Does Donders' law apply to arm movement? / Soechting, J. F.; Buneo, Christopher; Herrmann, U.; Flanders, M.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 15, No. 9, 1995, p. 6271-6280.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Soechting, JF, Buneo, C, Herrmann, U & Flanders, M 1995, 'Moving effortlessly in three dimensions: Does Donders' law apply to arm movement?', Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 15, no. 9, pp. 6271-6280.
Soechting, J. F. ; Buneo, Christopher ; Herrmann, U. ; Flanders, M. / Moving effortlessly in three dimensions : Does Donders' law apply to arm movement?. In: Journal of Neuroscience. 1995 ; Vol. 15, No. 9. pp. 6271-6280.
@article{6867049835064c16bcd35019f0befe81,
title = "Moving effortlessly in three dimensions: Does Donders' law apply to arm movement?",
abstract = "Donders' law, as applied to the arm, predicts that to every location of the hand in space there corresponds a unique posture of the arm as defined by shoulder and elbow angles. This prediction was tested experimentally by asking human subjects to make pointing movements to a select number of target locations starting from a wide range of initial hand locations. The posture of the arm was measured at the start and end of every movement by means of video cameras. It was found that, in general, the posture of the arm at a given hand location does depend on the starting location of the movement and that, consequently, Donders' law is violated in this experimental condition. Kinematic and kinetic factors that could account for the variations in arm posture were investigated. It proved impossible to predict the final posture of the arm purely from kinematics, based on the initial posture of the arm. One hypothesis was successful in predicting final arm postures, namely that the final posture minimizes the amount of work that must be done to transport the arm from the starting location.",
keywords = "arm movements, Donders' law, minimum energy, minimum work, optimization, reaching",
author = "Soechting, {J. F.} and Christopher Buneo and U. Herrmann and M. Flanders",
year = "1995",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "6271--6280",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Moving effortlessly in three dimensions

T2 - Does Donders' law apply to arm movement?

AU - Soechting, J. F.

AU - Buneo, Christopher

AU - Herrmann, U.

AU - Flanders, M.

PY - 1995

Y1 - 1995

N2 - Donders' law, as applied to the arm, predicts that to every location of the hand in space there corresponds a unique posture of the arm as defined by shoulder and elbow angles. This prediction was tested experimentally by asking human subjects to make pointing movements to a select number of target locations starting from a wide range of initial hand locations. The posture of the arm was measured at the start and end of every movement by means of video cameras. It was found that, in general, the posture of the arm at a given hand location does depend on the starting location of the movement and that, consequently, Donders' law is violated in this experimental condition. Kinematic and kinetic factors that could account for the variations in arm posture were investigated. It proved impossible to predict the final posture of the arm purely from kinematics, based on the initial posture of the arm. One hypothesis was successful in predicting final arm postures, namely that the final posture minimizes the amount of work that must be done to transport the arm from the starting location.

AB - Donders' law, as applied to the arm, predicts that to every location of the hand in space there corresponds a unique posture of the arm as defined by shoulder and elbow angles. This prediction was tested experimentally by asking human subjects to make pointing movements to a select number of target locations starting from a wide range of initial hand locations. The posture of the arm was measured at the start and end of every movement by means of video cameras. It was found that, in general, the posture of the arm at a given hand location does depend on the starting location of the movement and that, consequently, Donders' law is violated in this experimental condition. Kinematic and kinetic factors that could account for the variations in arm posture were investigated. It proved impossible to predict the final posture of the arm purely from kinematics, based on the initial posture of the arm. One hypothesis was successful in predicting final arm postures, namely that the final posture minimizes the amount of work that must be done to transport the arm from the starting location.

KW - arm movements

KW - Donders' law

KW - minimum energy

KW - minimum work

KW - optimization

KW - reaching

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0029068737&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0029068737&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 6271

EP - 6280

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 9

ER -