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Journal Article

On the bimanual integration of proprioceptive information


Kuehn,  Esther
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Kuehn, E., De Havas, J., Silkoset, E., Hiroaki, G., & Haggard, P. (2015). On the bimanual integration of proprioceptive information. Experimental Brain Research, 233(4), 1273-1288. doi:10.1007/s00221-015-4205-0.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-A136-9
Proprioception can be defined as the sense for body movement and position. While most sensory information can be successfully integrated across hemispheres, little is known about the bilateral integration of proprioceptive information. In two behavioural experiments, we investigated whether estimates of the position of one hand are influenced by simultaneous proprioceptive information from the other hand. We further investigated whether such putative bimanual proprioceptive integration would differ between expert dancers and non-dancer controls. Either one hand or both hands were passively moved to novel positions, and participants indicated the perceived location of the index finger tip of the designated target hand, by orienting a visible laser beam mounted on a cap. Synchronized bimanual movements compared to unimanual movements significantly improved proprioceptive position sense. In particular, we found a bias reduction to perceive the target hand’s index finger tip as shifted away from the midline in the bimanual condition, compared to the unimanual condition. Expert dancers, in contrast, did not show this change in proprioceptive position sense after bimanual movements. We suggest that bimanual movements may improve proprioception due to interhemispheric integration in controls, but not in expert dancers.