Direct fit of a theoretical model of phase transition in oscillatory finger motions


Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 15, room 502, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands (e-mail:


This paper presents a general method to fit the Schöner-Haken-Kelso (SHK) model of human movement phase transitions directly to time series data. A robust variant of the extended Kalman filter technique is applied to the data of a single subject. The options of covariance resetting and iteration within recursion were used to obtain time-dependent estimates of both the α and β parameters in the SHK model. Comparison between transition onset time and the time at which |β(t|T)/α(t|T)| becomes critical indicates that the transitions are advanced by noise. The method can be extended to handle non-normal data and generalization across subjects and/or experimental conditions.