Individual differences in timing of discrete and continuous movements: A dimensional approach

H. Lorås*, A. K. Stensdotter, F. Öhberg, H. Sigmundsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated aspects of individual differences in timing of continuous and discontinuous movements to different pacing signals (auditory or visual), pacing intervals (500, 650, 800, 950 ms), and across effectors (dominant versus non-dominant hand). Correlation and principal component analysis demonstrated that a single statistical dimension accounted for up to 60 % of the explained variance in discontinuous tasks and 25 % of the variance in continuous tasks, when applied to performance obtained from tasks conducted with different effectors and at different pacing rates. Correlation analysis of factor scores representing effector and rate independent task performances showed that timing of discrete or continuous movements can be associated with modality independent mechanisms. Timing variability from discrete and continuous trials was not significantly correlated. This study goes beyond previous correlational work on individual differences in discrete and continuous movements, demonstrating that individual differences in discrete (event-based) or continuous (emergent) motor timing tasks can be modeled as distinctive statistical components with dissimilar capability to capture effector, rate, and modality independent variance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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