Sequential processes for controlling distance in multijoint movements

Sydney Y. Schaefer, Robert L. Sainburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the mechanisms underlying control of distance during multijoint movements in different directions. The findings revealed 2 sequential muscle torque impulses, which correlated with 2 events in the hand acceleration profile. These 2 events occurred prior to peak velocity, characterizing control in the initial acceleration phase of motion. The contribution of shoulder and elbow joint torque to each event varied with movement direction. However, regardless of direction, these 2 torque events appeared to be functionally distinguishable: a preplanned initiation event was responsible for the initial hand acceleration, whereas a 2nd modulation event adjusted acceleration in compensation for variations in acceleration. Thus, the findings support the idea that control of distance during multijoint movement occurs through sequential control mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Distance
  • Inverse dynamics
  • Kinematics
  • Reaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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