What is a Coordinated Rhythmic Movement?

|Series| Theories of CRM

What is a Coordinated Rhythmic Movement?

I started writing a blog post this week, in which it (like many of my posts) featured Coordinated Rhythmic Movement (CRM; Kelso 1981) rather heavily. Then I realised, I haven’t actually spelt out exactly what a CRM is! With that in mind, I stopped writing that post and started writing this one.

A CRM (AKA rhythmic coordinated movements and rhythmic movement coordination) is any movement that uses at least one limb or oscillator (something that moves back and forth in a regular rhythm) that is rhythmically coordinated with another limb or oscillator.  Within this definition, a CRM is not limited to a single organism.  That is, the limb of one organism can be rhythmically coordinated with another limb of the same organism, of another organism, or that of a computer controlled oscillator.

Continue reading “What is a Coordinated Rhythmic Movement?”

Lissajous Feedback: Augmentative or Transformative?

|Series| Feedback Techniques

What is Augmented Feedback?

Influenced by the work of Schmidt & Wrisberg (2008) and Utley & Astill (2008), Augmented Feedback (AF; also known as extrinsic feedback) has been defined as,

“Information that cannot be elaborated without an external source; thus, it is provided by a trainer or a display” (Sigrist, Rauter, Riener, & Wolf, 2013).

Within this definition, the only time that feedback is not augmented is when it is generated by the organism itself. To help unpack this definition, I will introduce an example inspired by the world of sport.

Continue reading “Lissajous Feedback: Augmentative or Transformative?”

Lissajous Feeback: What is it?

|Series| Feedback Techniques

What is Lissajous Feeback?

All forms of feedback within coordinated rhythmic movement (CRM) are used to guide learning. Lissajous feedback is no different to other forms of feedback in this regard. It is, however, fundamentally different in how it achieves this goal.

Central to the technique is the use of a Lissajous figure (hence the name). A Lissajous figure is a continuous, 2-dimensional plot of the relative motions of the two limbs. The right arm follows the abscissa (representing X-axis/horizontal-axis on the Lissajous figure) and the left arm follows the ordinate (representing Y-axis/vertical-axis on the Lissajous figure).

Continue reading “Lissajous Feeback: What is it?”

Wenderoth, Bock & Krohn (2002)

|Review| Learning a new bimanual coordination pattern is influenced by existing attractors.

In the last post, we looked at an investigation by Fontaine and authors into a prediction made by the Dynamic Pattern Approach (DPA) that learning a new coordinated rhythmic movement is harder near stronger attractors (Zanone & Kelso, 1994). They found quite the opposite: Learning was easier near the stronger attractor, not harder.

In an attempt to investigate this further Wenderoth and authors led out two questions:

  1. Does the distance between existing attractors and the to-be-learned pattern influence the learning process?
  2. Is a new phase relationship close to the 0° attractor learned in a different way than one close to the 180° attractor?

Continue reading “Wenderoth, Bock & Krohn (2002)”

Shock, Shock – Horror, Horror

|Editorial| tDCS and the Hype Cycle


I couldn’t bear another grizzly cadaver image, so here’s some slightly related Star Trek

Not long back, Dr. György Buzsáki of New York University (NYU) presented some research that, on the face skull of it (forgive the pun), put into question a whole host of exclamations made over the years by transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) research.

Continue reading “Shock, Shock – Horror, Horror”

Fontaine, Lee & Swinnen (1997): Experiment 2

|ReviewThe influence of the Acquisition of a New Coordination Pattern on the Intrinsic Patterns


If you’ve landed here before reading Experiment 1, I’d suggest you check it out so that the rest of this clobber makes sense.

In Experiment 1 Fontaine and authors were interested in testing the influence of intrinsic patterns on the acquisition of a new coordination pattern. That is, do 0° and 180° affect the learning of a new pattern? Is the “stronger” attractor (0°) a greater antagonist for the learning of a new pattern? In this case, Science said no. It turns out it was harder to learn a pattern closer to 180° than 0°.

In Experiment 2 the question is flipped. Wild, I know. Does learning a new pattern of movement affect the intrinsic patterns (0° and 180°)?

Continue reading “Fontaine, Lee & Swinnen (1997): Experiment 2”

Fontaine, Lee & Swinnen (1997): Experiment 1

|ReviewThe influence of Intrinsic Patterns on the Acquisition of a New Coordination Pattern


This post is the first in a series that will build up a picture of the coordinated rhythmic movement (CRM) literature.  Today we are looking at a paper by Fontaine, Lee, and Swinnen (1997).

You might think it’s a strange place to start. Why not start from an earlier point, with Kelso (1995) and his theoretical outline? Well, in one way, this paper was actually one of the first pieces of evidence that Kelso’s approach was incomplete, which led to the development of the perception-action work I will be focusing on.

Continue reading “Fontaine, Lee & Swinnen (1997): Experiment 1”