Performance-Stabilizing Synergies in a Complex Motor Skill: Analysis Based on the Uncontrolled Manifold Hypothesis

Fariba Hasanbarani, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The authors studied indices of stability (ΔV) of two time-varying variables, hand coordinate and velocity, during accurate throw of a small ball into the basket. Ten participants performed the throwing task with eyes-open (vision) and -closed (no vision) conditions. In the latter condition, participants closed their eyes prior to initiating the throw. The intertrial variance in the joint configuration space (and joint velocity space) was analyzed based on the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. The results confirmed the presence of both coordinate- and velocity-stabilizing synergies (ΔV > 0). Intertrial variance was larger in the no-vision condition compared with the vision condition. Over the movement duration, ΔV did not change for the coordinate-related analysis but dropped consistently for the velocity-related analysis. The authors interpret the findings within the idea of hierarchical control and trade-off between synergy indices at different levels of the hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-252
Number of pages15
JournalMotor control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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