[Comp-neuro] Spectrum of power laws for curved hand movements

Terry Sejnowski terry at salk.edu
Wed Jul 8 08:48:03 CEST 2015

Spectrum of power laws for curved hand movements
Dongsung Huh and Terrence J. Sejnowski


In curved hand movements around ellipses, the speed tends to scale inversely with the curvature with a power law having an exponent of -1/3. We examined whether this well-known regularity in motor planning holds for more general shapes. Using an optimality principle, we identified a set of basis shapes, each with a single characteristic angular frequency, which subjects drew with power laws whose exponents ranged from 0 to -2/3. More general movements exhibited linear mixtures of power laws. The speed of arbitrary doodling movements with a broad spectrum of frequencies could also be predicted from the curvature with high accuracy. 



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