Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 190, Issue 3, pp 239–249 | Cite as

Response preparation changes following practice of an asymmetrical bimanual movement

  • Dana Maslovat
  • Anthony N. Carlsen
  • Ryu Ishimoto
  • Romeo Chua
  • Ian M. Franks
Research Article


The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of practice on the advance preparation of an asymmetrical bimanual movement. Participants performed 170 trials of a discrete bimanual aiming movement where the right arm moved twice the amplitude of the left, in response to an auditory “go” signal. During three of the first and last ten trials, the “go” signal was replaced with a startle (124 dB) stimulus, which is thought to trigger a prepared movement. Startle and non-startle (control) trials from early and late practice were compared on various kinematic and EMG measures. Results indicated that it is possible to pre-program a bimanual asymmetrical movement, and that advance preparation of movement amplitude changes with practice. Evidence was also provided that the different amplitude movements were performed using similar EMG timing between limbs, while adjusting the relative ratio of EMG amplitude. Furthermore, learning of the task appeared to be related to the ability to prepare the correct asymmetrical EMG amplitudes rather than changing the timing of the EMG pattern.


Response preparation Programming Practice Bimanual Startle 



A Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant was awarded to Ian M. Franks. We would also like to recognize Paul Nagelkerke for his technical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana Maslovat
    • 1
  • Anthony N. Carlsen
    • 1
  • Ryu Ishimoto
    • 1
  • Romeo Chua
    • 1
  • Ian M. Franks
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human Kinetics, War Memorial GymnasiumUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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