Synergic analysis of upper limb target-reaching movements

Nianfeng Yang, Ming Zhang, Changhua Huang, Dewen Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The topological invariance and synergies of human movements are discussed through the analysis and comparison of upper-limb target-reaching tasks. Five subjects were asked to perform different target-reaching tasks with different indices of difficulty, and the movements were captured using a Vicon 3D motion analysis system. Topological invariance was observed in the trajectories of different task performances. After normalization, the trajectories of the arm tips had very close patterns for different target-reaching tasks. Synergy in the target-reaching movements of the upper limbs was also found among the different joint angles. The joint angles can be fitted using the same format of functions proposed in this study. The parameters in the function can be taken as a characteristic feature of target-reaching movement patterns. A target-reaching movement can be determined by these parameters and the start and end positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-746
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2002


  • Motion pattern
  • Synergy
  • Target-reaching movement
  • Upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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