We examined anticipatory motor planning and the interaction among both hands in a discrete bimanual task. To this end, participants had to grasp and manipulate two cylindrical objects simultaneously under varying conditions in which (a) the grip selection requirements, i.e., orientation of the to-be-grasped objects, differed between the two hands and (b) the type of grip for one hand was preinstructed, while the grip for the other hand was free choice. Results showed that participants, when grasping for two bars with a free grip choice, prioritized planning for comfortable end postures over symmetry of movement execution. Furthermore, when participants were free to choose a grip for their left hand, but were instructed on how to grasp an object with their right hand, we found no interaction between the grip selections of both hands, suggesting that motor planning proceeds independently for both hands.
Janssen, Crajé, and Steenbergen are with Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, The Netherlands and Radboud University Nijmegen, Behavioural Science Institute, The Netherlands. Weigelt is with the Institute of Sport Science, Saarland University, Germany, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld University, Germany.