Bimanual adaptation: Internal representations of bimanual rhythmic movements

Eldad Klaiman, Amir Karniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


From tying your shoes and clipping your tie to the claps at the end of a fine seminar, bimanual coordination plays a major role in our daily activities. An important phenomenon in bimanual coordination is the predisposition toward mirror symmetry in the performance of bimanual rhythmic movements. Although learning and adaptation in bimanual coordination are phenomena that have been observed, they have not been studied in the context of adaptive control and internal representations - approaches that were successfully employed in the arena of reaching movements and adaptation to force perturbations. In this paper we examine the dynamics of the learning mechanisms involved when subjects are trained to perform a bimanual non-harmonic polyrhythm in a bimanual index finger tapping task. Subjects are trained in this task implicitly, using altered visual feedback, while their performance is continuously monitored throughout the experiment. Our experimental results indicate the existence of significant (p < < 0.01) learning curves (i.e., error plots with significantly negative slopes) during training and aftereffects with a washout period after the visual feedback ceases to be altered. These results confirm the formation of internal representations in bimanual motor control. We present a simple, physiologically plausible, neural model that combines feedback and adaptation in the control process and which is able to reproduce key phenomena of bimanual coordination and adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2006


  • Adaptation
  • Bimanual tapping
  • Human
  • Learning
  • Motor skills
  • Visual motor coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (all)


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