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Title: The organization of patterns of multilimb coordination as revealed through reaction time measures
Authors: Swinnen, Stephan ×
Serrien, D J
Walter, C B
Philippaerts, Renaat #
Issue Date: 1995
Series Title: Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation cérébrale vol:104 issue:1 pages:153-62
Abstract: Simple visual reaction time (RT) during the performance of sagittal movements of the upper and/or lower limbs was investigated. Experiment 1 demonstrated that RTs increased when more limbs were to be moved simultaneously. This effect was more apparent for the upper than for the lower limbs. Experiment 2 allowed a separation of RT into premotor time (PMT) and motor time (MOT) components through analysis of electromyographic activity, and showed that these longer response delays were associated with increased PMTs. This suggests that the time required for the central organization of movements increased as more limbs were to be controlled simultaneously. Compared to single-limb performance conditions, the increases in RT were much larger in the upper limbs (up to 16%) than in the lower limbs (up to 5%) when limb segments were added. During single-limb conditions, RTs in the upper limbs tended to be smaller than in the lower limbs, in accordance with efferent nerve conduction time estimates. Conversely, the lower limb(s) was (were) initiated before the upper limb(s) when both effector types were moved simultaneously. This pattern of activation is reminiscent of the organization of postural control during upright standing, where goal-directed arm activity is preceded by (bilateral) leg activity to anticipate for the upcoming postural destabilization. Finally, hemifield manipulations in experiment 2 revealed faster RTs and PMTs for stimuli presented in the right visual field in comparison with the left field. This advantage was evident for ipsilateral as well as contralateral responses and supports the pre-eminence of the left hemisphere in the complex organization of gross motor responses.
ISSN: 0014-4819
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Policy in Sports & Physical Activity Research Group
Movement Control & Neuroplasticity Research Group
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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