Fixed-point drift and hysteresis in frequency-scaled unimanual coordination

Eric G. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Research on human rhythmic coordination has shown that the in-phase and antiphase coordination modes are typically stable and that the coordination of asymmetric effectors frequently exhibits fixed-point drift. The author extended research on symmetry breaking in coordination dynamics by examining a frequency-scaled unimanual pronation-supination task. The results showed symmetry breaking and fixed-point drift, with the radioulnar joint increasingly more phase advanced than the shoulder with increments in movement frequency. Hysteresis was also observed, as the relative phase patterns produced at 3 of the 4 movement frequencies were lower in the upward frequency scaling direction than in the downward direction. These results showed that the dynamic properties of symmetry breaking and fixed-point drift in unimanual pronation-supination movements were consistent with prior research and modeling. The hysteresis effect was explained as potentially being due to the control structures that organize this redundant coordination task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-288
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • fixed-point drift
  • hysteresis
  • symmetry breaking
  • unimanual coordination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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