Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 81, Issue 4, pp 343–358 | Cite as

Simulating a neural cross-talk model for between-hand interference during bimanual circle drawing

  • D. Cattaert
  • A. Semjen
  • J. J. Summers


Studies on drawing circles with both hands in the horizontal plane have shown that this task is easy to perform across a wide range of movement frequencies under the symmetrical mode of coordination, whereas under the asymmetrical mode (both limbs moving clockwise or counterclockwise) increases in movement frequency have a disruptive effect on trajectory control and hand coordination. To account for these interference effects, we propose a simplified computer model for bimanual circle drawing based on the assumptions that (1) circular trajectories are generated from two orthogonal oscillations coupled with a phase delay, (2) the trajectories are organized on two levels, “intention” and “motor execution”, and (3) the motor systems controlling each hand are prone to neural cross-talk. The neural cross-talk consists in dispatching some fraction of any force command sent to one limb as a mirror image to the other limb. Assuming predominating coupling influences from the dominant to the nondominant limb, the simulations successfully reproduced the main characteristics of performance during asymmetrical bimanual circle drawing with increasing movement frequencies, including disruption of the circular form drawn with the nondominant hand, increasing dephasing of the hand movements, increasing variability of the phase difference, and occasional reversals of the movement direction in the nondominant limb. The implications of these results for current theories of bimanual coordination are discussed.


Dispatch Movement Frequency Symmetrical Mode Circular Form Bimanual Coordination 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Cattaert
    • 1
  • A. Semjen
    • 2
  • J. J. Summers
    • 3
  1. 1. Laboratoire de Neurobiologie et Mouvement, CNRS, Marseille, FranceFR
  2. 2. Centre de Recherche en Nerosciences Cognitives, CNRS, Marseille, FranceFR
  3. 3. University of Tasmania, Hobart, AustraliaAU

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