Linking cognitive and reaching trajectories via intermittent movement control

Jason Friedman*, Scott Brown, Matthew Finkbeiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Theories of decision-making have traditionally been constrained by reaction time data. A limitation of reaction time data, particularly for studying the temporal dynamics of cognitive processing, is that they index only the endpoint of the decision making process. Recently, physical reaching trajectories have been used as proxies for underlying mental trajectories through decision space. We suggest that this approach has been oversimplified: while it is possible for the motor control system to access the current state of the evidence accumulation process, this access is intermittent. Instead, we demonstrate how a model of arm movements that assumes intermittent, not continuous, access to the decision process is sufficient to describe the effects of stimulus quality and viewing time in curved reaching movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Arm movements
  • Decision making
  • Diffusion model
  • Reaction times
  • Submovements


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