Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Symmetry, broken symmetry, and handedness in bimanual coordination dynamics

  • 242 Accesses

  • 85 Citations

Summary

The symmetrical dynamics of 1∶1 rhythmic bimanual coordination may be specified by an order parameter equation involving the relative phase between rhythmic components, and an interlimb coupling which determines the relative attractiveness of in-phase and anti-phase patterns. Symmetry breaking of these dynamics can occur via the difference in the natural frequencies, Δω, of the left and right rhythmic components, or by the intrinsic asymmetrical dynamics of the body. The latter is captured by additional terms that render the symmetrical coupling slightly anisotropic. A major prediction resulting from this step is that although Δω=0, as the frequency of coordination is increased, the asymmetrical coupling will increase and the symmetrical coupling will decrease. This results in a greater left-limb bias in left-handers and right-limb bias in right-handers. This “increased handedness” prediction was confirmed in an experiment in which 20 left-handed and 20 right-handed individuals performed 1∶ 1 coordination with hand-held rigid pendulums. Manipulations of left and right pendulum lengths controlled Δω, and the coupled frequency was determined by a metronome. Also confirmed was the prediction that the small shift in equilibria from in-phase and anti-phase due to the intrinsic asymmetry should be amplified in left-handers when Δω > 0 and in right-handers when Δω < 0. Further, the bias in left-handers was more consistent than the bias in right-handers, and a subgroup of right-handers was identified who performed similarly to left-handers. The coordination dynamics of functional asymmetry provides insights into the elementary synergy between the limbs, the dynamical mechanism that modulates it, and the nature of the asymmetry in left-handed and right-handed individuals.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Abraham RH, Shaw CD (1992) Dynamics: the geometry of behavior. Addison-Wesley, Redwood City

  2. Baldissera F, Cavallari P, Marini G, Tassone G (1991) Differential control of in-phase and anti-phase coupling of rhythmic movements of ipsilateral hand and foot. Exp Brain Res 83: 375–380

  3. Berlucchi G, Aglioti S, Tassinari G (1994) The role of the corpus callosum and bilaterally distributed motor pathways in the synchronization of bilateral upper-limb responses to lateralized stimuli. In: Swinnen S, Heuer H, Massion J, Casaer P (eds) Interlimb coordination: neural, dynamical, and cognitive constraints, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp 595–617

  4. Bernstein N (1967) The co-ordination and regulation of movements. Pergamon, Oxford, Bradshaw JL, Bradshaw JA, Nettleton NC (1990) Abduction, adduction and hand differences in simple and serial movements. Neuropsychologia 28: 917–931

  5. Bradshaw JL, Bradshaw JA, Nettleton NC (1990) Abduction, adduction and hand differences in simple and serial movements. Neuropsychologia 28: 917–931

  6. Bradshaw JL, Burden V, Nettleton NC (1986) Dichoptic and dichaptic techniques. Neuropsychologia 24: 74–90

  7. Byblow WD, Carson RG, Goodman D (1994) Expressions of asymmetries and anchoring in bimanual coordination. Hum Mov Sci 13: 3–28

  8. Carson RG (1989) Manual asymmetries: feedback processing, output variability, and spatial complexity — resolving some inconsistencies. J Motor Behav 21: 38–47

  9. Carson RG (1993) Manual asymmetries: old problems and new directions. Hum Mov Sci 12: 479–506

  10. Carson RG, Goodman D, Kelso JAS, Elliot D (1995) Phase transitions and critical fluctuations in rhythmic coordination of ipsilateral hand and foot. J Motor Behav (in press)

  11. Christman S (1993) Handedness in musicians: bimanual constraints on performance. Brain Cogn 22: 266–272

  12. Cohen AH, Holmes PJ, Rand RH (1982) The nature of the coupling between segmental oscillators of the lamprey spinal generator for locomotion: a mathematical model. J Math Biol 13: 345–369

  13. Corballis M (1989) Laterality and human evolution. Psychol Rev 96: 492–505

  14. Emmerik REA van (1992) Kinematic adaptations to perturbations as a function of practice in rhythmic drawing movements. J Motor Behav 24: 111–131

  15. Ermentrout GB, Kopell N (1991) Multiple pulse interactions and averaging in coupled neural oscillators. J Math Biol 29: 195–217

  16. Fagot J, Vauclair J (1991) Manual laterality in nonhuman primates: a distinction between handedness and manual specialization. Psychol Bull 109: 76–89

  17. Flowers K (1975) Handedness and controlled movement. Br J Psychol 66: 39–52

  18. Fuchs A, Kelso JAS, Haken H (1992) Phase transitions in the human brain: spatial mode dynamics. Int J Bifurcation Chaos 2: 917–939

  19. Gilmore R (1981) Catastrophe theory for scientists and engineers. Wiely, New York

  20. Guiard Y (1987a) Asymmetric division of labor in human skilled bimanual action: the kinematic chain as a model. J Motor Behav 19: 486–517

  21. Guiard Y (1987b) Precursors to what? Theory is lacking for handedness in humans. Behav Brain Sci 10: 276–277

  22. Guiard Y, Diaz G, Beaubaton D (1983) Left hand advantage in right handers for spatial constant error: preliminary evidence in a unimanual ballistic aimed movement. Neuropsychologia 21: 111–115

  23. Haaland KY, Harrington DL (1989) The role of the hemispheres in closed loop movements. Brain Cogn 9: 158–180

  24. Haken H (1977) Synergetics. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  25. Haken H (1983) Advanced synergetics. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  26. Haken H, Kelso JAS, Bunz H (1985) A theoretical model of phase transitions in human hand movements. Biol Cyber 51: 347–356

  27. Hammond GE (1990) Manual performance asymmetries. In: Hammond GE (ed) Cerebral control of speech and limb movements, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 59–77

  28. Hatta T, Koike M (1991) Left-hand preference in frightened monkeys in taking up their babies. Neuropsychologia 29: 207–209

  29. Hilborn RC (1994) Chaos and nonlinear dynamics. Oxford University Press, New York

  30. Holst E von (1973) On the nature and order of the central nervous system. In: Martin R (ed) The collected papers of Erich von Holst, vol 1. The behavioral physiology of animal and man. University of Miami Press. Coral Gables, Flag

  31. Jackson EA (1989) Perspectives of nonlinear dynamics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK

  32. Jeka JJ, Kelso JAS (1995) Manipulating symmetry in the coordination dynamics of human movement. J Exp Psychol Hum Percep Perform 21: 360–374

  33. Kelso JAS (1984) Phase transitions and critical behavior in human bimanual coordination. Am J Physiol Regul Integrative Comp Physiol 15: R1000-R1004

  34. Kelso JAS (1994) Elementary coordination dynamics. In: Swinnen S, Heuer H, Massion J, Casaer P (eds) Interlimb coordination: neural, dynamical, and cognitive constraints, Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp 301–318

  35. Kelso JAS (1995) Dynamic patterns: the self-organization of brain and behavior. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass

  36. Elso JAS, deGuzman GC (1988) Order in time: how the cooperation between the hands informs the design of the brain. In: Haken H (ed) Neural and synergetic computers, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 271–287

  37. Kelso JAS, DelColle JD, Schöner G (1990) Action-perception as a pattern formation process. In: Jeannerod M (ed) Attention and performance XIII, Hillsdale, NJ, Erlbaum, pp 139–169

  38. Kelso JAS, Buchanan JJ, Wallace SA (1991) Order parameters for the neural organization of single, multijoint limb movement patterns. Exp Brain Res 85: 432–444

  39. Kelso JAS, Jeka JJ (1992) Symmetry breaking dynamics of human multilimb coordination. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 18: 645–668

  40. Kimura D, Vanderwolf CH (1978) The relation between hand preference and the performance of individual finger movements by left and right hands. Brain 93: 769–774

  41. Kinsbourne M (1970) The cerebral basis of lateral asymmetries in attention. Acta Psychol (Amst) 33: 193–201

  42. Kopell N (1988) Toward a theory of modeling central pattern generators. In: Cohen AH, Rossignol S, Grillner S (ed) Neural control of rhythmic movements in invertebrates. Wiley, New York, pp 369–413

  43. Kugler PN, Turvey MT (1987) Information, natural law and the self-assembly of rhythmic movement. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ

  44. Latash M, Turvey MT (1995) Bernstein's “On dexterity and its development”. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ (in press)

  45. LeDoux JE, Wilson DH, Gazzaniga MS (1977) Manipulo-spatial aspects of cerebral lateralization: clues to the origin of lateralization. Neuropsychologia 15: 743–750

  46. MacNeilage PF, Studdert-Kennedy MG, Lindblom B (1987) Primate handedness reconsidered. Behav Brain Sci 10: 247–303

  47. Oldfield RC (1969) Handedness and musicians. Br J Psychol 60: 91–99

  48. Peper CE, Beek PJ, van Wieringen PCW (1991) Bifurcations in polyrhythmic tapping: in search of Farey principles. In: Requin J, Stelmach GE (ed) Tutorials in motor neuroscience. Kluwer, Dordrecht

  49. Peters M (1985) Constraints on the coordination of bimanual movements and their expression in skilled and unskilled subjects. Q J Exp Psychol [A] 37: 171–196

  50. Peters M (1987) A nontrivial motor performance difference between right-handers and left-handers: attention as intervening variable in the expression of handedness. Can J Psychol 41: 91–99

  51. Peters M (1990a) Subclassification of non-pathological left-handers poses problems for theories of handedness. Neuropsychologia 28: 279–289

  52. Peters M (1990b) Phenotype in normal left-handers: an understanding of phenotype is the basis for understanding mechanism in inheritance of handedness. In: Coren S (ed) Left-handedness: behavioral implications and anomalies, Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 167–192

  53. Peters M (1991) Laterality and motor control. In: Bock GR, Marsh J (eds) Biological asymmetry and handedness, Wiley, Chichester. UK, pp 300–308

  54. Peters M (1992) How sensitive are handedness prevalence figures to differences in questionnaire classification procedures? Brain Cogn 18: 208–215

  55. Peters M (1994) Does handedness play a role in the coordination of bimanual movement? In: Swinnen S, Heuer H, Massion J, Casaer P (eds) Interlimb coordination: neural, dynamical, and cognitive constraints. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp 595–617

  56. Peters M (1995) Handedness and its relation to other indices of cerebral lateralization. In: Davidson RJ, Hugdahl K (eds) Brain asymmetry. MIT, Cambridge, pp 183–214

  57. Peters M, Durding BM (1979) Left-handers and right-handers compared on a motor task. J Motor Behav 11: 103–111

  58. Peters M, Murphy K (1992) Cluster analysis reveals at least three, and possibly five distinct handedness groups. Neuropsychologia 30: 373–380

  59. Peters M, Schwartz S (1989) Coordination of the two hands and effects of attentional manipulation in the production of a bimanual 2 ∶ 3 polyrhythm. Aust J Psychol 41: 215–224

  60. Peters M, Servos P (1989) Performance of sub-groups of left-handers and right-handers. Can J Psychol 43: 341–358

  61. Porac C, Coren S (1981) Lateral preferences and human behavior. Springer, Berlin

  62. Rand RH, Cohen AH, Holmes PJ (1988) Systems of coupled oscillators as models of central pattern generators. In: Cohen AH, Rossignol S, Grillner S (eds) Neural control of rhythmic movements in vertebrates. Wiley, New York, pp 333–367

  63. Rouselle C, Wolff PH (1991) The dynamics of bimanual coordination in developmental dyslexia. Neuropsychologia 29: 907–924

  64. Roy EA, McKenzie C (1978) Handedness effects in kinesthetic spatial location judgements. Cortex 14: 250–258

  65. Schmidt RC, Turvey MT (1995) Models of interlimb coordination — equilibria, local analyses, and spectral patterning: comments on Fuchs and Kelso (1994). J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 21: 432–443

  66. Schmidt RC, Carello C, Turvey MT (1990) Phase transitions and critical fluctuations in the visual coordination of rhythmic movements between people. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16: 227–247

  67. Schmidt RC, Shaw BK, Turvey MT (1993) Coupling dynamics in interlimb coordination. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 19: 397–415

  68. Schmidt RC, Treffner PJ, Shaw BK, Turvey MT (1992) Dynamical aspects of learning an interlimb rhythmic movement pattern. J Motor Behav 24: 67–83

  69. de Schonen S (1977) Functional asymmetries in the development of bimanual coordinations in human infants. J Hum Mov Stud 3: 144–156

  70. Schöner G (1990) A dynamic theory of coordination of discrete movement. Biol Cybern 63: 455–462

  71. Schöner G, Kelso JAS (1988a) Dynamic pattern generation in behavioral and neural systems. Science 239: 1513–1520

  72. Schöner G, Kelso JAS (1988b) A synergetic theory of environmentally-specified and learned pattern of movement coordination. I. Relative phase dynamics. Biol Cybern 58: 71–80

  73. Schöner G, Haken H, Kelso JAS (1986) A stochastic theory of phase transitions in human hand movement. Biol Cybern 53: 442–452

  74. Sternad D, Turvey MT, Schmidt RC (1992) Average phase difference theory and 1∶1 phase entrainment in interlimb coordination. Biol Cybern 67: 223–231

  75. Sternad D, Amazeen E, Turvey MT (1995) Diffusive, synaptic, and synergetic coupling: an evaluation through inphase and antiphase rhythmic coordination. J Motor Behav (in press)

  76. Strogatz SH (1994) Nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass

  77. Stucchi N, Viviani P (1993) Cerebral dominance and asynchrony between bimanual two-dimensional movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 19: 1200–1220

  78. Summers JJ (1990) Temporal constraints on concurrent task performance. In: Hammond GE (ed) Cerebral control of speech and limb movements. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 661–680

  79. Summers JJ, Pressing J (1994) Coordinating the two hands in polyrhythmic tapping. In: Swinnen S, Heuer H, Massion J, Casaer P (eds) Interlimb coordination: neural, dynamical, and cognitive constraints. Academic Press, San Diego, Calif, pp 571–593

  80. Swinnen SP, Young DE, Walter CB, Serrien DJ (1991) Control of asymmetrical bimanual movements. Exp Brain Res 85: 163–173

  81. Todor JI, Kyprie PM (1980) Hand differences in the rate and variability of rapid tapping. J Motor Behav 12: 57–60

  82. Todor JI, Smiley AL (1985) Performance differences between the hands: implications for studying disruption to limb praxis. In: Roy EA. (ed) Neuropsychological studies of apraxia and related disorders. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 309–344

  83. Treffner PJ, Turvey MT (1993) Resonance constraints on rhythmic movement. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 19: 1221–1237

  84. Treffner PJ, Turvey MT (1995) Handedness and the asymmetric dynamics of bimanual rhythmic coordination. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 21: 318–333

  85. Truman G, Hammond GR (1990) Temporal regularity by the left and right hands in timed and untimed finger tapping. J Motor Behav 22: 521–535

  86. Tuller B, Kelso JAS (1989) Environmentally specified patterns of movement coordination in normal and split-brain subjects. Exp Brain Res 75: 306–316

  87. Turvey MT (1994) From Borelli (1680) and Bell (1826) to the dynamics of action and perception. J Sport Exerc Psychol 16: S128-S157

  88. Turvey MT, Rosenblum LD, Schmidt RC, Kugler PN (1986) Fluctuations and phase symmetry in coordinated rhythmic movements. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 12: 564–583

  89. Watson NV, Kimura D (1989) Right hand superiority for throwing but not for intercepting. Neuropsychologia 27: 1399–1414

  90. Wolff PH, Hurwitz I, Moss H (1977) Serial organization of motor skills in left- and right-handed adults. Neuropsychologia 15: 539–546

  91. Zanone PG, Kelso JAS (1992) Evolution of behavioral attractors with learning: nonequilibrium phase transitions. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 18: 403–421

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Treffner, P.J., Turvey, M.T. Symmetry, broken symmetry, and handedness in bimanual coordination dynamics. Exp Brain Res 107, 463–478 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00230426

Download citation

Key words

  • Handedness
  • Dynamics
  • Rhythmic movement
  • Synergies
  • Human