Movement planning with probabilistic target information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined how subjects plan speeded reaching movements when the precise target of the movement is not known at movement onset. Before each reach, subjects were given only a probability distribution on possible target positions. Only after completing part of the movement did the actual target appear. In separate experiments we varied the location of the mode and the scale of the prior distribution for possible targets. In both cases we found that subjects made use of prior probability information when planning reaches. We also devised two tests (Composite Benefit and Row Dominance tests) to determine whether subjects' performance met necessary conditions for optimality (defined as maximizing expected gain). We could not reject the hypothesis of optimality in the experiment where we varied the mode of the prior, but departures from optimality were found in response to changes in the scale of prior distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3034-3046
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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