Behavioural Brain Research vol:154 issue:2 pages:535-47
The present study examined whether the ability to dissociate bimanual limb movements following learning of a new coordination task (i.e. star-line drawing paradigm) can be generalised to different effector systems, as expressed by inter- and intralimb transfer. In Experiment 1, subjects practised the 'Line-Star' task (i.e. left arm traced the line/right arm traced the star) and then transferred this pattern to its symmetry partner: the 'Star-Line' task (left arm star/right arm line). In Experiment 2, intralimb transfer from the shoulder-elbow (proximal) to the wrist-finger joints (distal), and vice versa, was investigated. Results revealed positive interlimb transfer among symmetry partners of the star-line movement. Moreover, learning the star-line task spontaneously transferred from the trained to the untrained effector system whereby proximal to distal transfer was larger than vice versa. It is concluded that learning to spatially dissociate the movements of both limbs is generalisable to different motor conditions even though transfer to some conditions is suboptimal. It is hypothesised that the nature of the representation of the spatial interference task is largely effector independent.