Interlimb coupling strength scales with movement amplitude

C.E. Peper, B.J. de Boer, H.J. de Poel, P.J. Beek

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The relation between movement amplitude and the strength of interlimb interactions was examined by comparing bimanual performance at different amplitude ratios (1:2, 1:1, and 2:1). For conditions with unequal amplitudes, the arm moving at the smaller amplitude was predicted to be more strongly affected by the contralateral arm than vice versa. This prediction was based on neurophysiological considerations and the HKB model of coupled oscillators. Participants performed rhythmic bimanual forearm movements at prescribed amplitude relations. After a brief mechanical perturbation of one arm, the relaxation process back to the initial coordination pattern was examined. This analysis focused on phase adaptations in the unperturbed arm, as these reflect the degree to which the movements of this arm were affected by the coupling influences stemming from the contralateral (perturbed) arm. The thus obtained index of coupling (IC) reflected the relative contribution of the unperturbed arm to the relaxation process. As predicted IC was larger when the perturbed arm moved at a larger amplitude than did the unperturbed arm, indicating that coupling strength scaled with movement amplitude. This result was discussed in relation to previous research regarding sources of asymmetry in coupling strength and the effects of amplitude disparity on interlimb coordination. © 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10-14
    Number of pages5
    JournalNeuroscience Letters
    Issue number1
    Early online date28 Mar 2008
    Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2008


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