A re-appraisal of the effect of amplitude on the stability of interlimb coordination based on tightened normalization procedures

Harjo J. de Poel*, Melvyn Roerdink, C. Lieke E. Peper, Peter J. Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The stability of rhythmic interlimb coordination is governed by the coupling between limb movements. While it is amply documented how coordinative performance depends on movement frequency, theoretical considerations and recent empirical findings suggest that interlimb coupling (and hence coordinative stability) is actually mediated more by movement amplitude. Here, we present the results of a reanalysis of the data of Post, Peper, and Beek (2000), which were collected in an experiment aimed at teasing apart the effects of frequency and amplitude on coordinative stability of both steady-state and perturbed in-phase and antiphase interlimb coordination. The dataset in question was selected because we found indications that the according results were prone to artifacts, which may have obscured the potential effects of amplitude on the post-perturbation stability of interlimb coordination. We therefore redid the same analysis based on movement signals that were normalized each half-cycle for variations in oscillation center and movement frequency. With this refined analysis we found that (1) stability of both steady-state and perturbed coordination indeed seemed to depend more on amplitude than on movement frequency per se, and that (2) whereas steady-state antiphase coordination became less stable with increasing frequency for prescribed amplitudes, in-phase coordination became more stable at higher frequencies. Such effects may have been obscured in previous studies due to (1) unnoticed changes in performed amplitudes, and/or (2) artifacts related to inappropriate data normalization. The results of the present reanalysis therefore give cause for reconsidering the relation between the frequency, amplitude, and stability of interlimb coordination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number724
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBrain sciences
Issue number10
Early online date13 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Special Issue: Rhythmic Motor Pattern Generation.


  • Bimanual interaction
  • Coordination dynamics
  • Dynamical systems
  • Entrainment
  • Perturbations
  • Relative phase
  • Rhythmic movement
  • Synchronization


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