Impossible is nothing: 5:3 and 4:3 multi-frequency bimanual coordination. Academic Article uri icon


  • The present findings demonstrate that when participants are provided a Lissajous display with cursor indicating the position of the limbs and a template illustrating the desired movement pattern they can rapidly (10 min) and effectively (continuous relative phase errors and variability ~10 degrees ) tune in a difficult 5:3 bimanual coordination pattern and without additional practice re-tune their responding to an equally difficult 4:3 coordination pattern. The findings indicate the extreme difficulty associated with producing complex polyrhythms in previous experiments has been due to split attention when Lissajous feedback has been provided and inability of the participant to detect and correct coordination errors when only provided vision of the limbs. Effective transfer to the 4:3 polyrhythm without previous practice suggests that the perception-action system's capabilities are extensive. The present findings when viewed in the context of recent experiments using similar protocols suggest that much, but not all, of the difficulty associated with producing a variety of bimanual coordination tasks should be viewed in terms of perceptual constraints imposed by the testing environment.

published proceedings

  • Exp Brain Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Kovacs, A. J., Buchanan, J. J., & Shea, C. H.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors

  • Kovacs, Attila J||Buchanan, John J||Shea, Charles H

publication date

  • March 2010