Symmetrical and asymmetrical influences on force production in 1:2 and 2:1 bimanual force coordination tasks
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Results from a recent experiment (Kennedy et al. in Exp Brain Res 233:181-195, 2015) indicated consistent and identifiable distortion of the left limb forces that could be attributable to the production of right limb forces during a multi-frequency bimanual force task. However, distortions in the forces produced by the right limb that could be attributable to the production of force in the left limb were not observed. The present experiment was designed to replicate this finding and determine whether the influence of force produced by one limb on the contralateral limb is the result of the limb assigned the faster frequency on the limb performing the slower frequency or a bias associated with limb dominance. Participants (N = 10) were required to rhythmically coordinate a pattern of isometric forces in a 1:1, 1:2, or 2:1 coordination pattern. The 1:2 task required the right limb to perform the faster rhythm, while the 2:1 task required the left limb to perform the faster rhythm. The 1:1 task was used as a control. Participants performed 13 practice trials and 1 test trial per task. Lissajous displays were provided to guide performance. If the limb assigned the faster frequency was responsible for the distortions observed in the contralateral limb, it was hypothesized that distortions would only be observed in the force trace of the limb producing the slower pattern of force. If a bias associated with limb dominance was responsible for the distortions observed in the contralateral limb, it was hypothesized that in right-limb-dominant participants the right limb would influence the left limb, regardless of limb assignment. Replicating the results of the previous experiment, only distortions in the left limb were observed in the 1:2 coordination task that could be attributed to the production of force by the right limb. However, identifiable distortions were observed in the force produced by both the left and right limb in the 2:1 coordination task. Observed distortions in the left limb, when assigned the faster rhythm indicated that the source of interference is not limited to limb assignment but also a function of limb dominance.
author list (cited authors)
Kennedy, D. M., Rhee, J., & Shea, C. H.