, Volume 182, Issue 2, pp 267-273,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Asymmetric interlimb transfer of concurrent adaptation to opposing dynamic forces

Abstract

Interlimb transfer of a novel dynamic force has been well documented. It has also been shown that unimanual adaptation to opposing novel environments is possible if they are associated with different workspaces. The main aim of this study was to test if adaptation to opposing velocity dependent viscous forces with one arm could improve the initial performance of the other arm. The study also examined whether this interlimb transfer occurred across an extrinsic, spatial, coordinative system or an intrinsic, joint based, coordinative system. Subjects initially adapted to opposing viscous forces separated by target location. Our measure of performance was the correlation between the speed profiles of each movement within a force condition and an ‘average’ trajectory within null force conditions. Adaptation to the opposing forces was seen during initial acquisition with a significantly improved coefficient in epoch eight compared to epoch one. We then tested interlimb transfer from the dominant to non-dominant arm (D → ND) and vice-versa (ND → D) across either an extrinsic or intrinsic coordinative system. Interlimb transfer was only seen from the dominant to the non-dominant limb across an intrinsic coordinative system. These results support previous studies involving adaptation to a single dynamic force but also indicate that interlimb transfer of multiple opposing states is possible. This suggests that the information available at the level of representation allowing interlimb transfer can be more intricate than a general movement goal or a single perceived directional error.