Haptic tracking permits bimanual independence

David A. Rosenbaum, Amanda M. Dawson, John H. Challis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This study shows that in a novel task - bimanual haptic tracking - neurologically normal human adults can move their 2 hands independently for extended periods of time with little or no training. Participants lightly touched buttons whose positions were moved either quasi-randomly in the horizontal plane by 1 or 2 human drivers (Experiment 1), in circle and square patterns in the vertical plane by 2 human drivers (Experiment 2), or at different frequencies in the horizontal plane by 2 human drivers (Experiment 3). Bimanual contact was maintained equally well in all conditions even though in Experiment 1 the left- and right-hand motions were uncorrelated (in the 2-driver condition), in Experiment 2 the left- and right-hand motions were spatially incongruous when circles and squares were tracked at the same time, and in Experiment 3 the left- and right-hand motions maintained different frequency ratios. Because haptic tracking has revealed that humans can in fact move their 2 hands independently, it may have potential as a new behavioral tool for revealing other perceptual-motor capabilities. PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1266-1275
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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