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Variability in motor performance decreases with practice but is never entirely eliminated, due in part to inherent motor noise. The present study develops a method that quantifies how performers can shape their performance to minimize the effects of motor noise on the result of the movement. Adopting a statistical approach on sets of data, the method(More)
In a prescient paper Karl Lashley (1951) rejected reflex chaining accounts of the sequencing of behavior and argued instead for a more cognitive account in which behavioral sequences are typically controlled with central plans. An important feature of such plans, according to Lashley, is that they are hierarchical. Lashley offered several sources of(More)
BACKGROUND This study asked whether older adults were more likely than younger adults to err in the initial direction of their anticipatory postural adjustment (APA) prior to a step (indicating a motor program error), whether initial motor program errors accounted for reaction time differences for step initiation, and whether initial motor program errors(More)
The end-state comfort effect (Rosenbaum et al. 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996) predicts that people will grasp an object for transport in a way that allows joints to be in mid-range at the end of the transport. When participants in the present study took hold of a vertical cylinder to move it to a new position, grasp heights on the cylinder were inversely related(More)
Freezing of gait is one of the most debilitating symptoms in Parkinson's disease as it causes falls and reduces mobility and quality of life. The pedunculopontine nucleus is one of the major nuclei of the mesencephalic locomotor region and has neurons related to anticipatory postural adjustments preceding step initiation as well as to the step itself, thus(More)
Despite the great amount of research that has been done regarding the time it takes to move the hand to targets of varying distances and widths, it is unclear whether target distance and width are both represented in movement plans prior to movement initiation. We addressed this question by studying performance in an object manipulation task. Our(More)
BACKGROUND Many patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) develop freezing of gait (FoG), which may manifest as a hesitation or "getting stuck" when they attempt to pass through a doorway. In two experiments, we asked whether FoG is associated with (1) a deficit in internal representation of one's body size with respect to a doorway and (2) a mismatch between(More)
Freezing of gait (FoG) is a transient inability to initiate or maintain stepping that often accompanies advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) and significantly impairs mobility. The current study uses a multimodal neuroimaging approach to assess differences in the functional and structural locomotor neural network in PD patients with and without FoG and relates(More)
This study assessed the effects of stability constraints of a voluntary task on postural responses to an external perturbation in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) and healthy elderly participants. Eleven PD subjects and twelve control subjects were perturbed with backward surface translations while standing and performing two versions of a voluntary(More)
The present study investigated whether postural responses are influenced by the stability constraint of a voluntary, manual task. We also examined how task constraint and first experience (the condition with which the participants started the experiment) influence the kinematic strategies used to simultaneously accomplish a postural response and a voluntary(More)