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An informational analysis of absolute judgments of torque Russell, David Gray


Five male Ss took part in seven experiments involving absolute judgments of stimuli selected from a continuum of torque. The first experiment required Ss to make judgments on the intensity of sixteen stimuli separated by equal intervals. The results were used to construct individual scales of equal discriminability. These scales were used to select the stimuli for the remaining six experiments in which 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 stimuli, separated by subjectively equal intervals, were used. An informational analysis was performed on the data of these experiments to determine the capacity of the kinesthetic system to transmit information derived from the inducement of torque. Maximum values of 1.680, 2.050 and 2.524 bits of transmitted information were obtained when the response was considered the output and the input variables were, respectively, the stimulus, the stimulus and subject, and the stimulus, subject and previous stimulus. These results were discussed in relation to information theory and the use of torque information in the closed-loop control of movement. It was concluded that torque-derived information may be available for the control of movement but that the capacity of the kinesthetic system to transmit torque information was less than that reported for amplitude of movement. Kinesthetic after effect was cited as a possible cause of the relatively low transmission.

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