Bimanual 1:1 with 90 degrees continuous relative phase: difficult or easy! Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of the present experiment was to observe the performance of participants attempting to produce a 1:1 bimanual coordination pattern with 90 degrees relative phase between the arms when feedback concerning the movement of the two limbs was integrated within a Lissajous plot and when this information was withdrawn. One group was paced with an auditory metronome and the other was encouraged to increase frequency when they fell below the goal frequency. We predicted that providing a salient integrated feedback display without a metronome would allow participants to effectively tune-in the goal relative phase pattern within several minutes; instead of several days as typically found in the literature when the metronome was used. The data indicated remarkably effective performances after 5 min of practice when the metronome was not used, with motion of both limbs harmonic in nature, and continuous relative phase errors (approximately 10 degrees) and standard deviation of continuous relative phase (approximately 10 degrees) relatively small. This seems remarkable given that this coordination pattern has proven relatively difficult to perform under normal and Lissajous feedback conditions even after several days of practice. As predicted relative phase errors and variability increased substantially when the metronome was used. When the extrinsic feedback was withdrawn all participants tended to drift from the required 90 degrees relative phase, but the cycle duration variability in the two limbs remained stable and limb motion remained harmonic in nature. The current findings suggest that some of the difficulty typically associated with producing various relative phase patterns is due to the less than optimal perceptual information available in the various testing situations and the use of pacing metronomes.

published proceedings

  • Exp Brain Res

altmetric score

  • 10.84

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 81

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • February 2009