Multiple time scales in serial production of force: A tutorial on power spectral analysis of motor variability

Alan Wing*, Andreas Daffertshofer, Jeff Pressing

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    We present a tutorial on a power spectral approach to variability in serial motor performance, describing as a case study two experiments on the form of the variance in two force production tasks. In Experiment 1 we examine grip force and load force in repetitive unimanual pulling; in Experiment 2, we describe repetitive bimanual pressing. In both experiments log-log plots of power spectral density of peak force of the responses in each stream against frequency (i.e. periodicity or repetition cycle defined with respect to the ordered succession of responses) were approximately linear with negative slopes which varied systematically with test conditions. We propose the two response streams in each experiment are associated with different levels of sustained attention and state a simple model involving summation of moving average processes on multiple time scales as a qualitative account of the changes in 1/f slope.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)569-590
    Number of pages22
    JournalHuman Movement Science
    Volume23
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004

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