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A multi-level approach to investigate the control of an input device: application to a realistic pointing task

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This study investigates the subjects' performance during realistic conditions of control of a joystick. An adapted reciprocal aiming task consisting in driving a virtual vehicle along a slalom course as fast as possible was performed while accuracy constraints were manipulated. Realistic dynamical Interface Screen Relationship between the joystick displacements and the displacements of the vehicle was simulated. Vehicle displacements and motor activity (muscle activity and joint kinematics) were recorded. The results highlighted the applicability of the Fitts' law to more realistic conditions where the use of an input device is performed in an intensive control situation. Besides, biomechanical results suggested that neuromuscular responses were different regarding the direction of movement, whereas the performance at a behavioural level were not affected. Thus, this study demonstrates the interest in considering two different aspects of the user's performance (behavioural and biomechanical ones) to make a better agreement between the device design and users' needs.
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Keywords: biomechanics; input device; motor control; multi-level analysis; user performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, ISM UMR 7287, 13288, Marseille, France 2: département Commande des systèmes et dynamique du vol (DCSD), Office National d'Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales, Salon de Provence, France

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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