Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 12, Iss. 3, July, 2008, pp. 241-259
@2008 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Mutual Information in the Evolution of Trajectories in Discrete Aiming Movements

Shih-Chiung Lai, Taipei Municipal University of Education,Taiwan
Gottfried Mayer-Kress, The Pennsylvania State University
Karl M. Newell, The Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: This study investigated the mutual information in the trajectories of discrete aiming movements on a computer controlled graphics tablet where movement time ( 300 - 2050 ms) was manipulated in a given distance (100 mm) and movement distance (15-240 mm) in 2 given movement times (300 ms and 800ms ). For the distance-fixed conditions, there was higher mutual information in the slower movements in the 0 vs. 80-100% trajectory point comparisons, whereas the mutual information was higher for the faster movements when comparing within the 80 and 100% points of the movement trajectory. For the time-fixed conditions, the spatial constraints led to a decreasing pattern of the mutual information throughout the points of the trajectory, with the highest mutual information found in the 80 vs. 100% comparison. Overall, the pattern of mutual information reveals systematic modulation of the trajectories between the attractive fixed point of the target as a function of movement condition. These mutual information patterns are postulated to be the consequence of the different relative contributions of feedforward and feedback control processes in trajectory formation as a function of task constraints.

Keywords: information theory, Fitts” law, mutual information, entropy, movement variability