Bimanual coordination: constraints imposed by the relative timing of homologous muscle activation

Li, Y, Levin, O, Carson, RG and Swinnen, SP (2004) Bimanual coordination: constraints imposed by the relative timing of homologous muscle activation. Experimental Brain Research, 156 1: 27-38. doi:10.1007/s00221-003-1762-4

Author Li, Y
Levin, O
Carson, RG
Swinnen, SP
Title Bimanual coordination: constraints imposed by the relative timing of homologous muscle activation
Journal name Experimental Brain Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-4819
Publication date 2004-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00221-003-1762-4
Open Access Status
Volume 156
Issue 1
Start page 27
End page 38
Total pages 12
Editor R.F. Schmidt
V.J. Wilson
Place of publication Berlin
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Language eng
Subject C1
380101 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
Abstract It has often been supposed that patterns of rhythmic bimanual coordination in which homologous muscles are engaged simultaneously, are performed in a more stable manner than those in which the same muscles are activated in an alternating fashion. In order to assess the efficacy of this constraint, the present study investigated the effect of forearm posture (prone or supine) on bimanual abduction-adduction movements of the wrist in isodirectional and non-isodirectional modes of coordination. Irrespective of forearm posture, non-isodirectional coordination was observed to be more stable than isodirectional coordination. In the latter condition, there was a more severe deterioration of coordination accuracy/stability as a function of cycling frequency than in the former condition. With elevations in cycling frequency, the performers recruited extra mechanical degrees of freedom, principally via flexion-extension of the wrist, which gave rise to increasing motion in the vertical plane. The increases in movement amplitude in the vertical plane were accompanied by decreasing amplitude in the horizontal plane. In agreement with previous studies, the present findings confirm that the relative timing of homologous muscle activation acts as a principal constraint upon the stability of interlimb coordination. Furthermore, it is argued that the use of manipulations of limb posture to investigate the role of other classes of constraint (e.g. perceptual) should be approached with caution because such manipulations affect the mapping between muscle activation patterns, movement dynamics and kinematics.
Keyword Neurosciences
Hand Posture
Bimanual Coordination
Cycling Frequency
Symmetry Principles
Visual Perception
Interlimb Coordination
Spatial Constraints
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 29 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 30 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 13:17:26 EST