Bimanual Coordination Development Is Enhanced in Young Females and Experienced Athletes

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 York University
  • 2 Defense Research and Development Canada
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We characterize bimanual coordination development for the first time in a large sample of children (n = 303) in relation to age, sex, and athletic experience. A further aim is to document the effect of these factors on development to indirectly gain insight into the neural processes that underlie this advanced level of eye–hand coordination. This was a cross-sectional design involving three age groups (range: 9–15 years) that were further separated by sex and level of athletic experience. Participants completed two bimanual tasks and a unimanual control task. While there was no significant change in unimanual movement speed, we observed that females performed the bimanual tasks faster, compared with males. Further, we found that select-level athletes had superior bimanual abilities. Lastly, we found an interaction of sex and skill across age. All groups achieved significant improvement in bimanual coordination with the exception of nonselect males. These data provide a description of normal bimanual coordination development in children during the developmentally crucial ages of 9–15 years, taking account of sex- and experience-related differences.

Albines, Gorbet, and Sergio are with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada. Granek is with the Defense Research and Development Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Lauren Sergio at lsergio@yorku.ca