Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Psychol (Amst). 2009 Mar;130(3):183-95. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Jan 22.

Coordination of complex bimanual multijoint movements under increasing cycling frequencies: the prevalence of mirror-image and translational symmetry.

Author information

Laboratory of Motor Control, Research Center for Movement Control and Neuroplasticity, Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, KU Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium.


The present study examined the principles underlying inter and intralimb coordination constraints during performance of bimanual elbow-wrist movements at different cycling frequencies (from 0.75 Hz to 2.50 Hz). Participants performed eight coordination tasks that consisted of a combination of in-phase (IN) and/or anti-phase (AN) coordination modes between both elbows and wrists (interlimb), with isodirectional (Iso) or non-isodirectional (NonI) coordination modes within each limb (intralimb). As expected, the principle of muscle homology (in-phase coordination), giving rise to mirror symmetrical movements with respect to the mid-sagittal plane, had a powerful influence on the quality of global coordinative behavior both between and within limbs. When this principle was violated (i.e., when the anti-phase mode was introduced in one or both joint pairs), the non-isodirectional intralimb mode exhibited a (de)stabilizing role in coordination, which became more pronounced at higher cycling frequencies. However, pattern loss with increasing cycling frequency resulted not only in convergence toward the more stable in-phase patterns with the elbows and wrists but also to the anti-phase patterns (which were associated with directional compatibility of within-limb motions). Moreover, participants generally preserved their initial mode of coordination (either in-phase or anti-phase) in the proximal joints (i.e., elbows) while shifting from anti-phase to in-phase (or vice versa) with their distal joint pair (i.e., wrists). Taken together, these findings reflect the impact of two immanent types of symmetry in bimanual coordination: mirror-image and translational symmetry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center