Period Duration of Physical and Im aginary Movement Sequences Affects Contralateral Amplitude Modulation
The hypothesis was tested that the strength of cross-manual effects of voluntary amplitude modulations in bimanual tasks increases when less preparation time is available during the execution of a sequence of movements. By means of the continuation procedure, various period durations (600, 800, 1200, and 1800 msec) of movement sequences were imposed. Subjects performed bimanual periodic arm movements on two digitizers: constant-amplitude movements (short or long) with the one hand, and movements of constant short or constant long amplitudes and movements of alternating short and long amplitudes with the other hand. Period-duration-dependent modulations of the amplitude were observed in movements of instructed constant amplitudes when the other hand performed alternating-amplitude movements, but not when the other hand performed constant-amplitude movements. Not only physical performance, but also the imaginary production of alternating-amplitude movements resulted in period-duration-dependent cross-manual effects, though reduced in size. The pattern of results is in agreement with a recently proposed two-level model of cross-manual effects according to which cross-talk can occur at the programming level as well as at the execution level.