Submovement control processes in discrete aiming as a function of space-time constraints

Tsung Yu Hsieh*, Yeou Teh Liu, Karl M. Newell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


There is preliminary evidence that there are several types of submovements in movement aiming that reflect different processes of control and can result from particular task constraints. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of movement space and time task criteria on the prevalence of different submovement control characteristics in discrete aiming. Twelve participants completed 3 distance x 5 time conditions each with 100 trials in a target-aiming movement task. The kinematic structure of the trajectory determined the prevalence of 5 submovement types (none; pre-peak, post-peak movement velocity; undershoot, overshoot). The findings showed that the overall number of submovements increased in the slower space-time conditions and was predominantly characterized by post-peak trajectory submovements rather than discrete overshoot submovements. Overshoot submovements were more frequent in the high average movement velocity and short time duration conditions. We concluded that there are qualitatively different distributional patterns of submovement types in discrete aiming tasks that are organized by the quantitative scaling of the average movement velocity arising from multiple control processes to meet the specific space-time task constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189328
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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