The neuronal basis of bimanual coordination: recent neurophysiological evidence and functional models

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2002 Jun;110(2-3):139-59. doi: 10.1016/s0001-6918(02)00031-8.


Recent physiological studies of the neuronal processes underlying bimanual movements provide new tests for earlier functional models of bimanual coordination. The recently acquired data address three conceptual areas: the generalized motor program (GMP), intermanual crosstalk and dynamic systems models. To varying degrees, each of these concepts has aspects that can be reconciled with experimental evidence. The idea of a GMP is supported by the demonstration of abstract neuronal motor codes, e.g. bimanual-specific activity in motor cortex. The crosstalk model is consistent with the facts that hand-specific coding also exists and that interactions occur between the motor commands for each arm. Uncrossed efferent projections may underlie crosstalk on an executional level. Dynamic interhemispheric interactions through the corpus callosum may provide a high-level link at the parametric programming level, allowing flexible coupling and de-coupling. Flexible neuronal interactions could also underlie adaptive large-scale systems dynamics that can be formalized within the dynamic systems theory approach. The correspondence of identified neuronal processes with functions of abstract models encourages the development of realistic computational models that can predict bimanual behavior on the basis of neuronal activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*