Asymmetries in interpersonal coordination: recruiting degrees-of-freedom stabilizes coordination

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The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect

The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect by having participants coordinate line movements of different orientations. Greater differences in asymmetries between participants yielded greater spatial deviation, resulting in the recruitment of df. Experiment 2 examined whether coordination of movements asymmetrical in shape (circle and line) yield simultaneous recruitment and suppression of df. This experiment also tested whether the initial stability of the performed movement alters the amount of change in df. Results showed that changes in df were exhibited as circles decreasing in circularity and lines increasing in circularity. Further, more changes in df were found circular (suppression) compared to line (recruitment) movements.