Based on indications that hand dominance is characterized by asymmetrical interlimb coupling strength (with the dominant hand exerting stronger influences on the nondominant hand than vice versa), intentional switches between rhythmic bimanual coordination patterns were predicted to be mediated primarily by phase adaptations in the movements of the nondominant hand. This hypothesis was supported for both right-handed and left-handed participants who performed voluntary switches from in-phase to antiphase coordination or vice versa, at four different frequencies. In accordance with previous indications that handedness is expressed less consistently in left-handers, the asymmetry between the hands was less pronounced in left-handed than in right-handed participants. The asymmetry was smaller for switches from in-phase to antiphase coordination (i.e., in the direction opposite to spontaneous transitions) than for switches in the reverse direction, suggesting that (the expression of) the handedness-related asymmetry in coupling strength was weakened by intentional processes associated with these switches.
The authors are with the Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences, Amsterdam/Nijmegen, and the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.