Robin T. Bye and Peter D. Neilson. The BUMP model of response planning: Intermittent predictive control accounts for 10 Hz physiological tremor. Human Movement Science, 29(5): 713--736, 2010. Download PDF.


Physiological tremor during movement is characterised by ~10 Hz oscillation observed both in the electromyogram activity and in the velocity profile. We propose that this particular rhythm occurs as the direct consequence of a movement response planning system that acts as an intermittent predictive controller operating at discrete intervals of ~100 ms. The BUMP model of response planning describes such a system. It forms the kernel of Adaptive Model Theory which defines, in computational terms, a basic unit of motor production or BUMP. Each BUMP consists of three processes: (1) analysing sensory information, (2) planning a desired optimal response, and (3) execution of that response. These processes operate in parallel across successive sequential BUMPs. The response planning process requires a discrete time interval in which to generate a minimum acceleration trajectory to connect the actual response with the predicted future state of the target and compensate for executional error. We have shown previously that a response planning time of 100 ms accounts for intermittency observed experimentally in visual tracking studies and for the psychological refractory period observed in double stimulation reaction time studies. We have also shown that simulations of aimed movement, using this same planning interval, reproduce experimentally observed speed-accuracy tradeoffs and movement velocity profiles. Here we show, by means of a simulation study of constant velocity tracking movements, that employing a 100 ms planning interval closely reproduces the measurement discontinuities and power spectra of electromyograms, joint-angles, and angular velocities of physiological tremor reported experimentally. We conclude that intermittent predictive control through sequential operation of BUMPs is a fundamental mechanism of 10 Hz physiological tremor in movement.


You are here: Home Research Neuroengineering Tremor paper abstract