Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 211, Issue 3–4, pp 447–457 | Cite as

Joint action in a cooperative precision task: nested processes of intrapersonal and interpersonal coordination

  • Verónica C. RamenzoniEmail author
  • Tehran J. Davis
  • Michael A. Riley
  • Kevin Shockley
  • Aimee A. Baker
Research Article


The authors determined the effects of changes in task demands on interpersonal and intrapersonal coordination. Participants performed a joint task in which one participant held a stick to which a circle was attached at the top (holding role), while the other held a pointer through the circle without touching its borders (pointing role). Experiment 1 investigated whether interpersonal and intrapersonal coordination varied depending on task difficulty. Results showed that interpersonal and intrapersonal coordination increased in degree and stability with increments in task difficulty. Experiment 2 explored the effects of individual constraints by increasing the balance demands of the task (one or both members of the pair stood in a less stable tandem stance). Results showed that interpersonal coordination increased in degree and stability as joint task demands increased and that coupling strength varied depending on joint and individual task constraints. In all, results suggest that interpersonal and intrapersonal coordination are affected by the nature of the task performed and the constraints it places on joint and individual performance.


Interpersonal coordination Joint action Postural control 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Verónica C. Ramenzoni
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tehran J. Davis
    • 1
  • Michael A. Riley
    • 1
  • Kevin Shockley
    • 1
  • Aimee A. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Communication before LanguageMax Planck InstituteNijmegenThe Netherlands

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