Date of Award
Neuropsychology, Eye-hand coordination, Human engineering, Computer users, Fitts Law movement coordination Fitts Task Slifkin Kuznetsov movement control ergonomics continuous discrete neuropsychology
Goal-directed movement may contain discrete and continuous components of action. In this experiment, participants moved back and forth between targets using a computer mouse in a cyclical aiming task. It was of interest to examine the relation between a discrete button press on a computer mouse, indicating an attempt at target capture, and the peak position of the corresponding, continuous movement trajectory of the mouse. How might the spatial and temporal relations between those events vary as a function of variations in task constraints? In particular, this experiment varied the target width (W) and amplitude requirement (A), where variations of both were quantified by the Index of Difficulty (ID) according to the equation log2(2A/W). Previous research by Slifkin et al. (2013) has shown that the spatial and temporal location of the peak position relative to the spatial and temporal location of the button press varied as a function of changes in W and A. As the ID increased, there was increased coincidence of the peak position of movement and position of the button press with increases in task demand, suggesting serial processing of movement at high indices of difficulty and parallel processing of movement coordination at low IDs. The current study examines whether the effects of W or the effects of the A have more of an influence on the coordination and timing of button press position and peak movement position. Based on previous research by Adam and Paas (1996), it was predicted that the target width manipulation will have more of an influence on the coordination of peak position and button press. In line with this prediction, results suggest that the W manipulation has more of an influence on the coordination of continuous and discrete components of action than the A manipulation. These results also suggest that the W manipulation has more of an influence on whether movements are produced in serial or parallel. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are also discussed
Kilian, Stephanie L., "Coordination of Continuous and Discrete Components of Action" (2014). ETD Archive. 703.