Stimulus velocity effect in a complex interceptive task in right- and left-handers

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Stimulus velocity effect in a complex interceptive task in right- and left-handers

Paula Cristina Rodrigues[1]*; Ricardo Barbosa2; Ana Isabel Carita3; João Barreiros4; Olga Vasconcelos5

1, 2, 5 - Motor Control and Learning Laboratory, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto. Rua Dr. Plácido Costa 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal.

3, 4 - Department of Human Movement Sciences, Faculty of HumanKinetics – Technical University of Lisbon. Estrada da Costa, Cruz Quebrada, 1495-688, Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo, Portugal

Keywords: Coincidence-anticipation; Stimulus velocity; Handedness; Manual asymmetry

The authors declare that this manuscript has never been previously published and submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.


This study investigated stimulus velocityeffect on manual asymmetry during planning and execution of a complex coincidence anticipation task. Left- and right-handers were required to press six buttons sequentially in conjunction with visual stimulus provided by a coincidence-anticipation device. Results showed that (1) stimulus velocity affected timing response and timing accuracy only for right-handers, who responded faster but lessaccurately in the fast stimulus velocity, (2) manual asymmetries for both handedness groups revealed a left-hand advantage for initiating the movement, and a preferred-hand advantage for movement time. The preferred-hand advantage in timing accuracy was only observed in the fast stimulus velocity. These findings are discussed in the framework of the hemispheric functional lateralization.

IntroductionMotor acts involving receiving, intercepting or batting a moving object depend on the efficiency of decision-making processes, through a decision that involves selecting the best answer and the right time of their execution. Such a process allows, for example, the interception of trajectories, as in the case of a ball that is passed between two opponents, or the attempt to prevent suchinterception, as in the situation of crossing a street. The temporal tuning and synchronization of actions have been designated by Belisle (1963) as coincidence-anticipation (CA). The performance of CA tasks requires anticipatory prediction and intrinsic prediction. Anticipatory prediction refers to the trajectory anticipation of a stimulus moving in space and time, whilst intrinsic prediction demandsthat the part of the body or the device for interception be in the right place at the right time.
The study of CA capacity allows significant contributions to the understanding of human learning and performance, since it expresses a highly valued competence in different fields of human activity, particularly in sport, but also on ergonomics and motor learning. Variables such as stimulus speed(Coker, 2003; Harrold & Kozar, 2002; Teixeira, Lima, & Franzoni, 2005), motor response complexity (Teixeira, 2006; Williams, Jasiewicz, & Simmons, 2001; Williams & Jasiewicz, 2001), manual asymmetry (Cockerill, Van-Zyl, & Nevill, 1988; Coker, 2004; Rodrigues, Vasconcelos, Barreiros, & Barbosa, 2009; Rodrigues, Vasconcelos, Barreiros, Barbosa, & Trifílio, 2009), and handedness (Rodrigues, Vasconcelos,Barreiros, & Barbosa, 2009; Rodrigues, Vasconcelos, Barreiros, Barbosa, et al., 2009) have been thoroughly investigated in the CA literature.
With respect to the effect of stimulus speed on the temporal bias, it has been demonstrated that participants respond in advance when dealing with a slow-moving stimulus, and generally respond late with a fast-moving object, when intercepting a mobile objector an apparent movement with a complex motion (Coker, 2004; Fleury, Basset, Bard, & Teasdale, 1998; Gagnon, Bard, Fleury, & Michaud, 1991). Fleury et al. (1998), for example, investigated the interception of an apparent movement by sliding a disk on a table. Using a fast and a slow stimulus speed, they measured temporal bias, spatial accuracy and kinematic variables. The results showed that...
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