Behavioural Brain Research vol:165 issue:2 pages:262-70
The role of directional compatibility was investigated during the production of in-phase and anti-phase coordination patterns involving the four limbs as well as the head. Our first aim was to compare the quality of interlimb coordination between concordant and discordant coordination patterns across girdles at different cycling frequencies. Concordant implied adoption of either the in-phase or anti-phase coordination mode across both girdles whereas discordant implied a combination of both modes. The second aim was to study the effect of periodic head movements upon the assembling of a coordinative synergy among the limbs. Findings revealed that concordant coordination modes were produced with higher accuracy and consistency than discordant coordination modes and this effect was more distinct at higher cycling frequencies. Inclusion of head movements was found to destabilize in-phase coordination but stabilize anti-phase coordination patterns, particularly during discordant conditions at higher cycling frequencies. This observation contrasts with previous findings in which anti-phase modes have invariably been shown to be more vulnerable to experimental perturbations than in-phase modes. The findings are discussed within the context of the coalition of egocentric and allocentric constraints during multilimb coordination and the role of direction as an organizing principle in movement control.