Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Constraints on interlimb coordination have been studied intensively in past years with a primary focus on temporal features. The present study addressed spatial constraints or the degree of directional interference as a function of different line combinations between the upper limbs as well as the modulation of this interference as a result of different board orientations within the performer's workspace. This paradigm was used to address a prominent theme in motor neuroscience, namely whether (bimanual) movements are encoded within an allocentric reference frame (pattern of interference invariant with respect to extrinsic space) or within an egocentric reference frame (pattern of interference invariant relative to the center of the performer's action space, i.e., intrinsic). The observed patterns of interference revealed that movements are primarily encoded within a radial egocentric reference frame in which the performer is the center of action space. The present psychophysical findings converge with primate single-cell recording studies in which the direction has been identified as a primary movement parameter that is encoded in various brain regions, thereby constituting a principal determinant of bilateral interference.