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The role of intentionality in the performance of a learned 90° bimanual rhythmic coordination during frequency scaling: data and model
Experimental Brain Research  (IF1.972),  Pub Date : 2021-08-07, DOI: 10.1007/s00221-021-06173-x
Herth, Rachel A., Zhu, Qin, Bingham, Geoffrey P.

Two rhythmic coordinations, 0° and 180° relative phase, can be performed stably at preferred frequency (~ 1 Hz) without training. Evidence indicates that both 0° and 180° coordination entail detection of the relative direction of movement. At higher frequencies, this yields instability of 180° and spontaneous transition to 0°. The ability to perform a 90° coordination can be acquired by learning to detect and use relative position as information. We now investigate the skilled performance of 90° bimanual coordination with frequency scaling and whether 90° coordination exhibits mode switching to 0° or 180° at higher frequencies. Unlike the switching from 180° to 0°, a transition from the learned 90° coordination to the intrinsic 0° or 180° modes would entail a change in information. This would seem to require intentional decisions during performance as would correcting performance that had strayed from 90°. Relatedly, correction would seem to be an intrinsic part of the performance of 90° during learning. We investigated whether it remains so. We tested bimanual coordination at 90° under both noninterference and correcting instructions. Under correcting instructions, bimanual 90° coordination remained stable at both low and high frequencies. Noninterference instructions yielded stable performance at lower frequencies and switching to 0° or 180° at higher frequencies. Thus, correction is optional and switching to the intrinsic modes occurred. We extended the Bingham (Ecol Psychol 16:45–53, 2004a; Advances in psychology, vol. 135, Time-to-contact, Elsevier Science Publishers, 2004b) model for 0° and 180° coordination to create a dynamical, perception–action account of learned 90° bimanual coordination, in which mode switching and correction were both initiated as the information required for performance of 90° fell below threshold. This means that intentional decisions about what coordination to perform and whether to correct occurred only before performance was begun, not during performance. The extended strictly dynamical model was successfully used to simulate performance of participants in the experiments.