Joint-Action Coordination of Redundant Force Contributions in a Virtual Lifting Task

in Motor Control
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In this study we investigated redundancy control in joint action. Ten participantpairs (dyads) performed a virtual lifting task in which isometric forces needed to be generated with two or four hands. The participants were not allowed to communicate but received continuous visual feedback of their performance. When the task had to be performed with four hands, participants were confronted with a redundant situation and between-hand force synergies could, in principle, be formed. Performance timing, success rates, cross-correlations, and relative phase analyses of the force-time functions were scrutinized to analyze such task-dependent synergies. The results show that even though the dyads performed the task slower and less synchronized in the joint than in the solo conditions, the success rates in these conditions were identical. Moreover, correlation and relative phase analyses demonstrated that, as expected, the dyads formed between-participant synergies that were indicative of force sharing in redundant task conditions.

Bosga is with the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information of the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Meulenbroek is with the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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