Intermanual coordination: from behavioural principles to neural-network interactions

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 May;3(5):348-59. doi: 10.1038/nrn807.


Locomotion in vertebrates and invertebrates has a long history in research as the most prominent example of interlimb coordination. However, the evolution towards upright stance and gait has paved the way for a bewildering variety of functions in which the upper limbs interact with each other in a context-specific manner. The neural basis of these bimanual interactions has been investigated in recent years on different scales, ranging from the single-cell level to the analysis of neuronal assemblies. Although the prevailing viewpoint has been to assign bimanual coordination to a single brain locus, more recent evidence points to a distributed network that governs the processes of neural synchronization and desynchronization that underlie the rich variety of coordinated functions. The distributed nature of this network accounts for disruptions of interlimb coordination across various movement disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*