Two agents in the brain: Motor control of unimanual and bimanual reaching movements

Tomohisa Asai*, Eriko Sugimori, Yoshihiko Tanno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have suggested that the left and right hands have different specialties for motor control that can be represented as two agents in the brain. This study examined how coordinated movements are performed during bimanual reaching tasks to highlight differences in the characteristics of the hands. We examined motor movement accuracy, reaction time, and movement time in right-handed subjects performing a three-dimensional motor control task (visually guided reaching). In the no-visual-feedback condition, right-hand movement had lower accuracy and a shorter reaction time than did left-hand movement, whereas bimanual movement had the longest reaction time, but the best accuracy. This suggests that the two hands have different internal models and specialties: closed-loop control for the right hand and open-loop control for the left hand. Consequently, during bimanual movements, both models might be used, creating better control and planning (or prediction), but requiring more computation time compared to the use of one hand only.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10086
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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