Perceptual influence on bimanual coordination: an fMRI study

Eur J Neurosci. 2009 Jul;30(1):116-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.06802.x. Epub 2009 Jun 25.


In bimanual coordination subjects typically show a spontaneous preference for movement symmetry. While there is experimental evidence for the principle of muscle homology, recent evidence suggested that bimanual coordination may be mediated as perceptual goals (Mechsner et al., 2001). To explore this controversy we performed a fMRI study in 11 healthy, right-handed subjects using bimanual index finger abductions and adductions in a congruous condition, i.e. both palms down, and incongruous conditions with either the left or right palm up. Our fMRI data showed a widespread bihemispheric network mediating proprioceptive coordination of the two hands with significant differences mainly for a perceptual dissociation: in the incongruous conditions with the one palm up there was a BOLD signal increase in a bilateral frontoparietal network involving the motor and premotor cortical areas, particularly in the right palm-up condition. These results accord with the notion that perceptual cues play an important role in the control of bilateral hand movements.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor
  • Female
  • Fingers
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Proprioception / physiology*