Bimanual Coordination and Musical Experience: The Role of Intrinsic Dynamics and Behavioral Information

in Motor Control
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Rhythmic interlimb coordination arises from the interaction of intrinsic dynamics and behavioral information, that is, intention, memory, or external information specifying the required coordination pattern. This study investigates the influence of the content of memorized behavioral information on coordination in musically experienced and inexperienced participants. These groups are hypothesized to have different intrinsic dynamics for this task. Stability was assessed in a switching task (variability and switching time). The in-phase, antiphase, and 90°-phase difference were specified in a neutral and an ecologically relevant manner. Musicians showed more stable coordination than nonmusicians did. No interaction effect was found with memorized behavioral information. Behavioral information showed an interaction effect with phase pattern on coordination variability, with the strongest effect for the 90°-phase pattern. Switching time was affected largely in line with the findings for coordination variability. Participants showed an intraindividual preference for one type of gallop and one type of switch strategy, suggesting different hand roles.

Verhuel is with the Institute for Biophysical and Clinical Research into Human Movement, Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, ST7 2HL United Kingdom. Geuze is with the Dept. of Developmental and Clinical Neurophychology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands\aq\.

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