The control of amplitude and direction in a bimanual coordination task

Hum Mov Sci. 2019 Jun;65:S0167-9457(17)30944-2. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2018.03.014. Epub 2018 Mar 29.

Abstract

Bimanual coordination requires task-specific control of the spatial and temporal characteristics of the movements of both hands. The present study focused on the spatial relationship between hand movements when their amplitude and direction were manipulated. In the experiment in question, participants were instructed to draw two lines simultaneously. These two lines were instructed to be drawn in mirror symmetric or perpendicular directions of each other while the length was instructed to be the same or different. The coordinative quality of amplitude control was compared when the task required symmetric and asymmetric bimanual spatial coordination patterns. Results showed that the amplitude accuracy decreased when different amplitudes and/or directions had to be generated simultaneously. The coordinative quality of direction was also compared when the task required symmetric and asymmetric bimanual spatial coordination patterns. Unlike amplitude, the direction accuracy was largely independent of coordination symmetry/asymmetry of direction or amplitude. The results suggest that the coordinative quality of amplitude control does not only interfere with amplitude asymmetry, but it also interferes with direction asymmetry. Moreover, in bimanual coordination amplitude control is more vulnerable to the influence of direction control demands than vice versa.

Keywords: Amplitude; Bimanual coordination; Direction; Discrete movements; Spatial interference.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Movement / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Young Adult