"Adequate control theory" for human single-joint elbow flexion on two tasks

Gerald L. Gottlieb*, Chi Hung Chen, Daniel M. Corcos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The control of distance and speed during single-joint human elbow flexion is accomplished by different modes of activating the motoneuron pools. Distance is controlled by modulating the duration of activation, while speed is controlled by modulating the intensity. The experiments reported on here compare movements of different distances under two sets of instructions: subjects moved either as fast and accurately as possible or in a specified time. The first task showed duration modulation, whereas the second, which required simultaneous control of distance and speed, showed both duration and intensity modulation. These results are interpreted in the context of a model for motor control, predicated on the existence of movement plants that use prior knowledge of the dynamics of the movement task to generate muscle activation patterns that produce joint torques. These plans use a simple algorithm based upon parameters of the task such as distance, load, and speed. From this plan, the kinematic trajectory emerges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-398
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1995


  • EMG patterns
  • Force planning
  • Human motor control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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