Computer Able to Mimic Unique Movements, Study Finds

Technology to work out our own 'personal profile'.


Every one of us has one kind of ‘control profile’ that can be extricated by computer. This control profile remains same over time and differs from person to person.

Scientists at the University of Manchester have recently developed computer mimics control profile in a similar way to the volunteer. Scientists took inspiration from a scientific theory known as perceptual control theory.

Scientists found the theory exactly matches with cursor movements of each volunteer. Based on that they developed computer able to mimic unique movements as volunteers.

Doctoral researcher Maximilian Parker, said, “We’ve all witnessed how the latest technology can work out our own ‘personal profile’ from our shopping and viewing preferences online.”

“But we find that technology could be used to profile our movements in the ‘real’ world.”

This is the first ever study that suggests we may be able to monitor people’s unique performance profile useful at both ends of the spectrum: from people who struggle to engage in activities when rehabilitating after a stroke to professional athletes who aim to enhance their performance through training.

Scientists involved 20 volunteers in the study and ask them to use a joystick that controls the position of a cursor on a computer screen. Researchers then recorded the movements produced by both models and volunteers when they tracked a series of new targets.

They found, the match between the movements that the volunteers and their own personal model were very high, even after the one week.

Parker said, “each model was personal, it fit the person it was designed for better than other people’s models.”

Dr Warren Mansell, who was on the research team said, “The study also tells us that research doesn’t just tell us about the average person, or make generalizations about groups of people – like people with a specific diagnosis.”

“It may now be feasible to use science to understand each one of us, individually, with our own personal strengths and limitations. It opens up the possibility that the ‘woolly’ topic of psychology can be immediately practical and technically precise.”


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