We studied the coordination of arm movements in standing persons who performed an out-of-phase arm-swinging task while stepping in place or while standing. The subjects were instructed to stop one of the arms in response to an auditory signal while trying to keep the rest of the movement pattern unchanged. A significant increase was observed in the amplitude of the arm that continued swinging under both the stepping and standing conditions. This increase was similar between the right and left arms. A dynamic model was developed including two coupled nonlinear van der Pol oscillators. We assumed that stopping an arm did not eliminate the coupling but introduced a new constraint. Within the model, superposition of two factors, a command to stop the ongoing movement of one arm and the coupling between the two oscillators, has been able to account for the observed effects. The model makes predictions for future experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)