EuroMov, European Research Center on Human Movement +33 434 432 630 EuroMov is a research centre of Université de Montpellier Université de Montpellier


Professor of Human Movement Science
Faculty of Sport Sciences
Institute for Movement Sciences UMR 7287
Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France



Fractional-order information in the control of movement


As paradigmatic examples of our behavioral interactions with dynamic elements of the environment, interceptive actions offer a rich window into the perceptuomotor mechanisms underlying behavior. Like most of our daily actions, locomotor interception is prospectively controlled. There is, however, currently still much debate on the nature of the information used and the way in which this information is integrated into movement. I will present some of the experimental evidence indicating that, depending on the task constraints, locomotor interception seems to depend on combinations of bearing angle position, velocity and/or acceleration. I will suggest that rather then being limited to (classical) integer-order derivatives, biological systems may rely on information of a task-dependent fractional order driving attractor dynamics.

Related publication:

Bootsma RJ, Ledouit S, Casanova R, Zaal FTJM (2016). Fractional-order information in the visual control of lateral locomotor interception. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 42: 517–529. doi:10.1037/xhp0000162


My interest in the ecological approach to perception and action and the dynamic systems approach to movement organization dates back to my PhD at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Over the years, these approaches have inspired work on different subjects related to human movement, all revolving in some way or the other around relations between information and movement. In 1992 we moved to the south of France where I hold a full professor position at Aix-Marseille University. I have had the honor of being awarded a three-year fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy for Sciences (KNAW, 1989-1992) and two appointments to the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF, junior member 1998-2003 and senior member 2013-2018). This last period at the IUF has allowed my to, finally, come back to my first (scientific) love, information-movement coupling in interceptive actions which forms the background for my contribution to this gathering.