DR. Howard Zelaznik

Department of Health and Kinesiology


Lambert Fieldhouse, Room 205D
(765) 494-5601


PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
MS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
BS, Brooklyn College (CUNY), Brooklyn, NY

Research Interests

Motor control; Movement coordination and timing

DR. Howard Zelaznik

Research description

Professor Zelaznik examines theoretical issues in movement coordination and movement timing. Recently, he has proposed a new framework to explain timing processes in discrete tasks versus continuous tasks. Discrete tasks utilize an explicit, event timing system in which the central nervous system possesses a representation of the timed interval. Continuous tasks, on the other hand, are indirectly timed by the use of emergent timing. In emergent timing the central nervous system controls other variables of the movement trajectory, with the temporal properties emerging from this control process. These processes are studied in normal individuals (Purdue work) and in individuals with a compromised cerebellum (UC Berkeley collaboration).

Selected Publications

Liddy JJ, Zelaznik HN, Huber JE, Rietdyk S, Claxton LJ, Samuel A, Haddad JM (2016). The efficacy of Microsoft Kinect(TM) to assess human bimanual coordination. Behavioral Research Methods, pp:1-18

Chagdes JR, Rietdyk S, Haddad JM, Zelaznik HN, Cinelli ME, Denomme LT, Powers KC, Raman A (2016). Limit cycle oscillations in standing human posture. Journal of Biomechanics, 49:1170-1179

Chagdes JR, Huber JE, Saletta M, Darling-White M, Raman A, Rietdyk S, Zelaznik HN, Haddad JM (2016). The relationship between intermittent limit cycles and postural instability associated with Parkinson's disease. Journal of sports and health science. 5:14-24

HanEol K, FuWen C, JoongHyun R, Haddad JM, Zelaznik HN (2015). Tennis match time series do not exhibit long term correlations. International Journal of Sport Psychology 46:542-554

Zelaznik HN (2015). On the robustness of Fitts’ law. Journal of Exercise, Movement, and Sport 47 (1)

Zelaznik HN (2014). The past and future of motor learning and control: what is the proper level of description and analysis? Kinesiology Review (3)

Zelaznik HN, Daluga LA (2014). Easy and difficult Fitts’s law task performance is correlated. Journal of Exercise, Movement and Sport. 46(1)

Kim HE, Ryu JH, Cai F, Haddad JM, Zelaznik HN (2013). Do opponents become a coordinated system, or struggle for stochastic control? Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology. 35:S33-S33

Fuwen J, Haddad JM, Zelaznik HN, Ryu JH (2013). Speed-accuracy trade-off in whole-body voluntary movement during standing. Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology. 35:S23-S23 

Zelaznik HN, Studenka BE (2012). Tactile feedback is necessary for synchronization in repetitive circle drawing. Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology. 34:S148-S148

Studenka BE, Zelaznik HN, Balasubramaniam R (2012). The distinction between tapping and circle drawing with and without tactile feedback: an examination of the sources of timing variance

The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 65:1086-1100

Zelaznik HN, Vaughn VN, Green JT, Smith AL, Hoza B, Linnea K (2012). Motor timing deficits in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder. Human movement science. 31:255-265

Huys R, Studenka BE, Rheaume NL, Zelaznik HN, & Jirsa VK (2008). Distinct Timing Mechanisms Produce Discrete and Continuous Movements. PLoS Computational Biology, 4, e1000061.

Studenka B, & Zelaznik HN (2008). The Influence of Dominant versus Non-Dominant Hand on Event and Emergent Motor Timing. Human Movement Science, 27, 29-52.

Schlerf JE, Spencer RMC, Zelaznik HN, & Ivry RB (2007). Timing of rhythmic movements in patients with cerebellar degeneration. Cerebellum, 6, 221-231.

Zelaznik HN, & Harper WA (2007). Skill and physical activity: A central dogma for kinesiology.Quest, 59, 163-169.

Zelaznik HN, Spencer RMC, Ivry RB, Baria A, Bloom M, Dolansky L, et al. (2005). Timing variability in circle drawing and tapping: Probing the relationship between event and emergent timing. Journal of Motor Behavior, 37:395-404.

Spencer RMC, Zelaznik HN, Diedrichsen J, & Ivry RB (2003). Disrupted timing of discontinuous but not continuous movements by cerebellar lesions. Science, 300:1437-1439.

Current Students

Han Eol Kim (Health and Kinesiology)
Expected Degree: PhD

Past Students

Breanna Studenka (PhD – 2008)
Dissertation: Error Correction Timing Behavior in Tapping and Circle Drawing
Assistant Professor, Utah State University