Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 19, Iss. 4, October, 2015, pp. 395-418
@2015 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Dimension and Complexity in Human Movement and Posture

Steven Morrison, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
Karl M. Newell, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Abstract: There has been considerable effort over the last 25 years to understand the emergence of complexity in motor output and how this relates to properties of the individual (e.g., age, disease state, etc.), environment (e.g., information) and task (e.g., movement, posture, isometric force). This paper addresses the behavioral dimension of motor complexity in movement and posture from a degrees of freedom (DF) perspective together with the change of complexity through aging, disease and fatigue. The dimension of behavior for a given perceptual-motor output is shown to be relatively low, dependent on the interaction between the individual, environmental, and task constraints and varies within a limited adaptive range for a given motor task. The determination of dimension in movement and posture has taken us beyond the traditional motor performance scores of behavior but it is not a sufficient characterization of the adaptive and emergent processes of complexity.

Keywords: posture, fractal dimension, entropy, principal components analysis