The interdependency between motor programming and movement integration in multiple target aiming

Electronic versions


  • Tom Mottram

    Research areas

  • PhD, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences


Rapid aimed hand movements have been shown to be executed faster when the hand stops on a target than when it must proceed and hit a second target. This is known as the one-target advantage (OTA). This phenomenon has been shown to occur regardless of vision, practice, hand preference and hand use. Two hypotheses put forward to explain the OTA phenomenon have been the movement constraint hypothesis and movement integration hypothesis. Whilst previous research has focused on movements made with a single-limb, this thesis examined whether performing a twotarget movement with two limbs had any effect on the OTA (chapters 2 and 3). The OTA materialised in both single-limb, and two-limb two target movements suggesting similar processes were used. By using kinematic analysis, this thesis has also shown that in movements performed using a single-limb and two-limbs, ellipse areas at the end of the first movement were typically smaller, showing support for the movement constraint hypothesis. Chapter 4 examined the interdependency between movements to target 1 and target 2. What role does movement amplitude, proximity of target 1 and 2, and target size have on movement times and spatial variability? Is there an optimal position of target 1 to optimise performance? Results indicated that when two targets are situated closer to each other, an advantage in terms of quicker total movement times is shown and the difference in total movement times was shown to be due to an advantage in the shorter movements compared to the long movements or in the pause times. A smaller second target also constrained variability at the first target, even though the first target size remained constant. This provides further support for the movement constraint hypothesis.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Michael Khan (Supervisor)
Award dateJan 2012