Citation: Human Movement Science, 23, 837-860
Abstract: Much sensory-motor behavior develops through imitation, as during the learning of handwriting by children. Such complex sequential acts are broken down into distinct motor control synergies, or muscle groups, whose activities overlap in time to generate continuous, curved movements that obey an inverse relation between curvature and speed. The adaptive vector integration to endpoint handwriting (AVITEWRITE) model of Grossberg and Paine (2000) [A neural model of corticocerebellar interactions during attentive imitation and predictive learning of sequential handwriting movements. Neural Networks, 13, 999?1046] addressed how such complex movements may be learned through attentive imitation. The model suggested how parietal and motor cortical mechanisms, such as difference vector encoding, interact with adaptively-timed, predictive cerebellar learning during movement imitation and predictive performance. Key psychophysical and neural data about learning to make curved movements were simulated, including a decrease in writing time as learning progresses; generation of unimodal, bell-shaped velocity profiles for each movement synergy; size scaling with isochrony, and speed scaling with preservation of the letter shape and the shapes of the velocity profiles; an inverse relation between curvature and tangential velocity; and a two-thirds power law relation between angular velocity and curvature. However, the model learned from letter trajectories of only one subject, and only qualitative kinematic comparisons were made with previously published human data. The present work describes a quantitative test of AVITEWRITE through direct comparison of a corpus of human handwriting data with the model?s performance when it learns by tracing the human trajectories. The results show that model performance was variable across the subjects, with an average correlation between the model and human data of 0.89 ? 0.10. The present data from simulations using the AVITEWRITE model highlight some of its strengths while focusing attention on areas, such as novel shape learning in children, where all models of handwriting and the learning of other complex sensory-motor skills would benefit from further research.