On the nature of human interlimb coordination

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Science  09 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4384, pp. 1029-1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.424729


Movement time varies as a function of amplitude and requirements for precision, according to Fitts' law, but when subjects perform two-handed movements to targets of widely disparate difficulty they do so simultaneously. The hand moving to an "easy" target moves more slowly to accommodate its "difficult" counterpart, yet both hands reach peak velocity and acceleration synchronously. This result suggests that the brain produces simultaneity of action not by controlling each limb independently, but by organizing functional groupings of muscles that are constrained to act as a single unit.

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