How do children control rate, amplitude, and coordination stability during bimanual circle drawing?

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Coordination instability (e.g., weak coupling strength) in young children may cause them to control some aspects of coordination in a different manner than adults. This experiment investigated the influence of rate and amplitude on bimanual coordination stability across development (4-, 6-, and 8-year-olds, and adults). Participants traced circles of different amplitudes (5, 10, 15, and 20 cm) while increasing movement rate twice during the trial. The results revealed that 4- and 6-year-olds produced much larger amplitudes than required and increased the amplitude of their movements with increases in rate. Four- and 6-year-olds also produced higher standard deviation of relative phase at all rates than did adults. Discussion examines differences in movement control and the rate-amplitude relation as a consequence of weaker coupling strength in young children than in older children and adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEcological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 13 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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