Approaches to analysis of handwriting as a task of coordinating a redundant motor system

Mark L. Latash, Frederic Danion, John F. Scholz, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, Gregor Schöner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


We consider problems of motor redundancy associated with handwriting using the framework of the uncontrolled manifold (UCM) hypothesis. Recent studies of finger coordination during force production tasks have demonstrated that the UCM-hypothesis provides a fruitful framework for analysis of multi-finger actions. In particular, it has been shown that during relatively fast force changes, finger force variance across trials is structured such that a time pattern of total moment produced by the fingers with respect to a point between the two most lateral fingers involved in the task is stabilized while the time pattern of total force may be destabilized. The findings of selective moment stabilization have been interpreted as being conditioned by the experience with everyday motor tasks that commonly pose more strict requirements to stabilization of total moment than to stabilization of total force. We discuss implications of these findings for certain features of handwriting seen in elderly, children, patients with neurological disorders, and forgers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-171
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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