Influence of Task Constraints and Device Properties on Motor Patterns in a Realistic Control Situation

  • Loeches de la Fuente Hugo
  • Fernandez Laure
  • Sarrazin Jean-Christophe
  • Berton Eric
  • Rao Guillaume


The influences of task difficulty (index difficulty: 2-4), input device of different length, range of motion and mode of resistance (joystick or rotorcraft stick), and directions of movement (leftward rightward) on motor patterns in a realistic control situation were examined with a multilevel analysis (joint kinematics and muscular variables, and global task performance). Eight subjects controlled the displacements of a virtual object during a slalom task characterized by a realistic inertial model. Pilots adapted the endpoint kinematic organization to increasing accuracy constraints to preserve task success whatever the device and the direction. However, the rotorcraft stick manipulation remains highly complex in comparison to the joystick due to poorer proprioceptive information, higher inertial constraints, and an asymmetrical muscle control.