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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2000 Jun;26(3):1091-105.

Specification of movement amplitudes for the left and right hands: evidence for transient parametric coupling from overlapping-task performance.

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Institut für Psychologie, Technical University Aachen, Germany.


Bimanual coordination tasks suggest transient cross-talk between concurrent specification processes for movements of the left and right hand that vanishes as the time for specification increases. In 2 experiments with overlapping and successive unimanual tasks, the hypothesis of transient coupling was examined for a psychological-refractory-period paradigm. Time for specification was manipulated by varying the delay between first and second signal (Experiment 1) and by precuing the first response (Experiment 2). Participants performed rapid reversal movements of same or different amplitudes with the left and right hands. With different amplitudes, reaction times (RTs) of the second responses were longer than with same amplitudes at short delays, and this disappeared at longer delays in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, precuing also reduced the difference between RTs of second responses in same-amplitude and different-amplitude trials. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of transient coupling during amplitude specification obtained with bimanual tasks.

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