Asymmetric Division of Labor in Human Skilled Bimanual Action: The Kinematic Chain as a Model

Guiard, Yves (1987) Asymmetric Division of Labor in Human Skilled Bimanual Action: The Kinematic Chain as a Model. [Journal (Paginated)]

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This article presents a tentative theoretical framework for the study of asymmetry in the context of human bimanual action. It is emphasized that in humans most skilled manual activities involve two hands playing different roles, a fact that has been often overlooked in the experimental study of human manual lateralization. As an alternative to the current concepts of manual preference and manual superiority, whose relevance is limited to the particular case of unimanual actions, the more general concept of lateral preference is proposed, to denote preference for one of the two possible ways of assigning two roles to two hands. A simple model describing intermanual division of labor in the variety of human skilled manual activities is outlined. The two main assumptions of the model are the following. 1) The two hands represent two motors, that is, devices serving to create motion, whose internal (biomechanical and physiological) complexity is ignored in the suggested approach. 2) In humans, the two manual motors cooperate with one another as if they were assembled in series, thereby forming a kinematic chain: In right-handers allowed to follow their lateral preferences, motion produced by the right hand tends to articulate with motion produced by the left. It is suggested that the kinematic chain model may help in understanding the adaptive advantage of human manual specialization.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:functional asymmetry, human laterality, handedness, manual specialization, hand preference, two-handed movement, bimanual movement, gestures, human action, movement, kinematic chain model, global vs. local, micro vs. macro, hierarchical control
Subjects:Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
ID Code:625
Deposited By: Guiard, Dr Yves
Deposited On:26 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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