Better together: Contrasting the hypotheses explaining the one-target advantage
Abstract Movement times are significantly shorter when moving from a start position to a single target, compared to when one has to continue onto a second target (i.e., the one-target advantage [OTA]). To explain this movement time difference, both the movement integration and the movement constraint hypotheses have been proposed. Although both hypotheses have been found to have explanatory power as to why the OTA exists, the support for each has been somewhat equivocal. The current review evaluated the relative support in the literature for these two hypotheses. Ultimately, preferential support for each theoretical explanation was found to be related to the higher indices of difficulty (IDs: Fitts, 1954) employed. That is, studies that included higher IDs (i.e., 6–8 bits) were more likely to provide more support for the movement constraint hypothesis, whereas studies employing lower IDs (i.e., 1–4 bits) were more likely to provide more support for the movement integration hypothesis. When the IDs employed were relatively intermediate (i.e., 5 bits), both hypotheses were mostly supported. Thus, task difficulty is crucial when determining which hypothesis better explains the planning and control of sequential goal-directed movements. Critically, the OTA most likely always involves integration but may also involve constraining if the accuracy demands are sufficiently high.
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