Title: Control of asymmetrical bimanual movements
Authors: Swinnen, Stephan ×
Young, D E
Walter, C B
Serrien, D J #
Issue Date: 1991
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Series Title: Experimental Brain Research vol:85 issue:1 pages:163-73
Abstract: When movements are performed together in the upper-limbs, a strong tendency emerges to synchronize the patterns of motor output. This is most apparent when trying to do different things at the same time. The present experiment explored the simultaneous organization and control of spatiotemporally different movements. There were two practice conditions: symmetrical and asymmetrical. In the symmetrical condition, subjects performed a series of unidirectional elbow flexion movements, followed by a series of elbow flexion-extension-flexion (reversal) movements in both limbs simultaneously. In the asymmetrical practice condition, subjects performed the unidirectional movement in the left limb together with the reversal movement in the right limb. Findings revealed a tendency for each limb movement to assimilate the features of its counterpart under the latter condition. This effect was "asymmetrical" in that the unidirectional movement was more attracted to the reversal movement than vice versa. Nevertheless, subjects were able to partly suppress this synchronization tendency as was evident from the moderate cross correlations between the angular acceleration patterns of both limb movements and from an increasingly successful differentiation of the activity levels in the right and left limb muscles. All together, these findings provide evidence for some degree of parallel control of spatiotemporally different actions. The data are discussed in view of the possible suppression of a bilaterally distributed motor control system, that is mainly held responsible for activiting proximal limb musculature.
ISSN: 0014-4819
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Movement Control & Neuroplasticity Research Group
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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