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Asynchrony in discrete bimanual aiming: Evidence for visual strategies of coordination

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number10
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)1911-1926
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The bimanual coupling literature supposes an inherent drive for synchrony between the upper limbs when making discrete bimanual movements. The level of synchrony is argued to be task dependent, reliant on the visual demands of the two targets, and the result of a complex pattern of hand and eye movements (Bingham, Hughes, & Mon-Williams, 2008; Riek, Tresilian, Mon-Williams, Coppard, & Carson, 2003). However, recent work by Bruyn and Mason (2009) suggests that temporal coordination is not solely influenced by visual saccades. In this experimental series, a total of 8 participants performed congruent movements to targets either near or far from the midline. Targets far from the midline, requiring a visual saccade, resulted in greater terminal asynchrony. Initial and terminal asynchrony were not consistent, but linked to the task demands at that stage of the movement. If the asynchrony evident at the end of a bimanual movement is due to a complex pattern of hand and eye movements then the removal of visual feedback should result in an increase in synchrony. Sixteen participants then completed congruent and incongruent bimanual aiming movements to near and/or far targets. Movements were made with or without visual feedback of hands and targets. Analyses revealed that movements made without visual feedback showed increased synchrony between the limbs, yet movements to incongruent targets still showed greater asynchrony. We suggest that visual constraints are not the sole cause of asynchrony in discrete bimanual movements.