Exploring interlimb constraints during bimanual graphic performance: Effects of muscle grouping and direction

Stephan P. Swinnen, Kris Jardin, Sabine Verschueren, Ruud Meulenbroek, Liz Franz, N. Dounskaia, C. B. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

111 Scopus citations


Past studies on bimanual coordination have revealed a general preference to move the limbs in a symmetrical fashion, also denoted as the in-phase mode. Its counterpart, the asymmetrical or anti-phase mode, is performed with lower degrees of accuracy and stability. This ubiquitous tendency to activate the homologous muscle groups is referred to as the muscle grouping constraint (egocentric constraint). The present study confirmed the generalizability of this constraint across various coordination patterns, performed in the horizontal plane. In addition, evidence was generated that movement direction in extrinsic space also constrains bimanual coordination (allocentric constraint). Overall, the present observations suggest that direction is an important movement parameter that is encoded in the central nervous system and that is subject to interactions between the neural specifications of both limbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Bimanual coordination
  • Directional coding
  • Drawing
  • Hemisphere lateralization
  • Interlimb constraints
  • Spatial parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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