The Influence of Movement Kinematics and Visual Feedback on the Bimanual Advantage in Human Interval Timing

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Breanna E. Studenka


When people tap rhythmically with two fingers instead of one, the time between their taps is more consistent. This phenomenon whereby better timing results from moving multiple limbs is termed the bimanual advantage (Helmuth & Ivry, 1996). Previous studies have shown that the additional sensory feedback that comes from moving two fingers versus only one may enhance a person's ability to predict and correct for timing errors, leading to better overall timing performance. Specifically, decreasing the tactile and auditory feedback for one finger increased the variance of timing in the other finger (Drewing et al., 2002; Drewing & Aschersleben, 2003). The role of visual information in interval timing, and specifically in bimanual advantage, had not been extensively tested. We sought to further understanding of the role of vision in auditory-motor interval timing. Participants tapped both unimanually and bimanually with full vision, without vision, and with additional visual feedback from a mirror reflecting the right hand. Tapping was performed over a hollow cutout in a platform, eliminating tactile feedback. We hypothesized that, if vision is important for bimanual advantage, a larger bimanual advantage would occur for tapping with vision than without vision. We also hypothesized that if additional visual feedback necessarily enhances timing consistency, a bimanual advantage (smaller variability than the right hand unimanual tapping task) would occur when the left hand was not tapping but was represented by the reflection of the right hand in the mirror. A bimanual advantage was seen for both full and no vision conditions indicating that, even with reduced tactile feedback, vision was not the only factor leading to bimanual advantage. In addition, no bimanual advantage was seen for unimanual tapping with concurrent visual feedback provided by the mirror, indicating that additional visual feedback about the right finger was not sufficient to elicit bimanual advantage.

This document is currently not available here.