Bimanual Interference Associated With the Selection of Target Locations

Diedrichsen Jorn, Ivry Richard B, Hazeltine Eliot, Kennerley Steven, Cohen Asher 2003.


Four experiments were conducted to identify the locus of interference observed during the preparation of bimanual reaching movements. Target locations were specified by color, and the right-hand and left-hand targets could be either the same or a different color. Movements of different amplitudes (Experiment 1) or different directions (Experiment 2) to targets of the same color were initiated more quickly than symmetric movements to targets of different colors. These results indicate that costs observed during bimanual movements arise during target selection rather than during motor programming. Experiments 3 and 4 further examined the interference associated with target selection. Reaction time costs were found with unimanual movements when the target was presented among distractors associated with responses for the other hand. Interference observed during bimanual reaching appears to reflect difficulty in segregating the response rules assigned to each hand.