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Effects of feedback from active and passive body parts on spatial and temporal parameters in sensorimotor synchronization

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Keller,  Peter E.
Max Planck Research Group Music Cognition and Action, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Ishihara,  Masami
Max Planck Research Group Music Cognition and Action, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Prinz,  Wolfgang
Department Psychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Keller, P. E., Ishihara, M., & Prinz, W. (2011). Effects of feedback from active and passive body parts on spatial and temporal parameters in sensorimotor synchronization. Cognitive Processing, 12(1), 127-133. doi:10.1007/s10339-010-0361-0.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-52B9-B
Abstract
Previous research on sensorimotor synchronization has manipulated the somatosensory information received from the tapping finger to investigate how feedback from an active effector affects temporal coordination. The current study explored the role of feedback from passive body parts in the regulation of spatiotemporal motor control parameters by employing a task that required finger tapping on one’s own skin at anatomical locations of varying tactile sensitivity. A motion capture system recorded participants’ movements as they synchronized with an auditory pacing signal by tapping with the right index finger on either their left index fingertip (Finger/Finger) or forearm (Finger/Forearm). Results indicated that tap timing was more variable, and movement amplitude was larger and more variable, when tapping on the finger than when tapping on the less sensitive forearm. Finger/Finger tapping may be impaired relative to Finger/Forearm tapping due to ambiguity arising through overlap in neural activity associated with tactile feedback from the active and the passive limb in the former. To compensate, the control system may strengthen the assignment of tap-related feedback to the active finger by generating correlated noise in movement kinematics and tap dynamics.