In this study, we investigate how two persons (dyads) coordinate their movements when performing cyclical motion patterns on a rocking board. In keeping with the Leading Joint Hypothesis (Dounskaia, 2005), the movement dynamics of the collaborating participants were expected to display features of a prime mover with low movement variability. Fourteen subject pairs performed the task in nine amplitude-frequency combinations that were presented in the form of a to-be-tracked stimulus on a computer display. Participants were asked to track the stimulus by jointly rocking the Board sideways while receiving continuous visual feedback of its rotations. Displacements of 28 IREDS that were attached to the rocking board, both ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and heads of both actors, were sampled at 75 Hz by means of a 3D-motion tracking system. From these data, we derived body-segment angular excursions as well as the continuous relative phase and time-lagged cross-correlations between relevant joint excursions. The results show that, at the intrapersonal level, knee rotations initially led all other joints in time while the antiphase coordination between the knees displayed relative low variability. At the interpersonal level, dyads adopted a leader-follower strategy with respect to the coordination demands of the task. We take that knee rotations create a dynamic foundation at both intra- and interpersonal levels involving subordination of individual action to joint performance thereby allowing for low-dimensional control of joint action in a high-dimensional, repetitive motor task.
Bosga and Meulenbroek are with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour Centre for Cognition, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Cuijpers is with Human Technology Interaction, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.