Perceptual and Attentional Constraints on 1:1 Bimanual Coordination
MetadataShow full item record
Two experiments were conducted in an attempt to further the understanding of how previously identified intrinsic constraints and perceptual factors interact in influencing the learning and performance of various bimanual coordination patterns. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to determine the influence of Lissajous feedback on 1:1 bimanual coordination patterns (0°, 90°, 180° phase lags) when the movement amplitudes of the two limbs were different. Participants coordinated rhythmic movements of their forearms while being provided separate feedback for each limb (no- Lissajous group) or integrated feedback (Lissajous group). Data from Experiment 1 supports the notion that the lead-lag relationship as well as amplitude assimilation between limbs observed in the literature can be partially attributed to the visualperceptual factors present in the testing environment. When participants are provided integrated feedback in the form of Lissajous plots and templates much of the lead-lag and amplitude assimilation effects were eliminated and relative phase error and variability were also greatly reduced after only 3 min of practice under each condition. Results from recent experiments suggest that when the salient visual information (Lissajous feedback) is removed, performance in bimanual coordination tasks rapidly deteriorates. The purpose of Experiment 2 was to determine if reducing the frequency of feedback presentation will decrease the reliance on the feedback and will facilitate the development of an internal representation that will improve performance when visual feedback is removed. Participants receiving reduced frequency feedback presentation were able to perform a delayed retention test with the feedback removed as well as the test with feedback present. Data from Experiment 2 demonstrates that salient extrinsic Lissajous feedback can effectively be combined with reduced frequency feedback presentation in a way that performance levels, when tested without the availability of feedback, match those obtained when tested in the presence of Lissajous feedback. Taken together the present experiments add to the growing literature that supports the notion that salient perceptual information can override some aspects of the system's intrinsic dynamics typically linked to motor output control. The strong tendencies toward the intrinsic dynamics found in numerous previous bimanual movement studies and the difficulties in producing various coordination patterns may actually represent detrimental effects attributable to the perceptual information available in the environment and the attentional focus participants adopt. Given external integrated salient visual information participants can essentially tune-in and learn difficult bimanual coordination patterns with relatively little practice.
Kovacs, Attila J. (2010). Perceptual and Attentional Constraints on 1:1 Bimanual Coordination. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from