Is dynamics the content of a generalized motor program for rhythmic interlimb coordination?

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In 3 experiments, the author tested the hypothesis that coordination dynamics is the content of a generalized motor program (GMP) for rhythmic interlimb coordination. In Experiment 1, learners (N = 14) practiced a −90° movement with either identically timed or differently timed limbs. Both acquisition and transfer to novel (effector and pattern) timings were unaffected by the learning condition and were suggestive of the intrinsic dynamics for in-phase and antiphase. In Experiment 2, learners' (N = 13) acquisition of 2 different phase relations (−90° and −45°) was qualitatively identical. Attractor reconstruction revealed an increase in the predictability of individual movement trajectories and a decrease in attractor dimensionality over learning. Transfer for both −90° and −45° was again suggestive of the intrinsic dynamics. In Experiment 3, learning altered participants' (N = 8) performance of in-phase and antiphase relations. Together, the results suggested a single continuum of phase relations, called an attractor landscape, that produces similar patterns of CE and VE for both previously stable and learned coordinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-251
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002



  • Attractor
  • Coordination
  • Dynamics
  • Generalized motor program (GMP)
  • Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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