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Rhythmic bimanual movements are highly constrained in the temporal domain, with the gestures of the two hands tightly synchronized. Previous studies have implicated a subcortical locus for temporal coupling based on the observation that these constraints persist in callosotomy patients. We now report that such coupling is restricted to movements entailing a discrete event (such as a movement onset). Three callosotomy patients exhibited a striking lack of temporal coupling during continuous movements, with the two hands oscillating at non-identical frequencies. We propose a subcortical locus of temporal coupling for movements involving discrete events. In contrast, synchronization between the hands during continuous movements depends on interhemispheric transmission across the corpus callosum.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Neurosci

Publication Date





376 - 381


Adult, Corpus Callosum, Hand, Humans, Middle Aged, Motor Activity, Psychomotor Performance, Time Factors