Frames of reference in action plan recall: influence of hand and handedness

Christian Seegelke, Charmayne M.L. Hughes, Kathrin Wunsch, Robrecht van der Wel, Matthias Weigelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that people are more likely to recall features of previous plans and use them for subsequent movements, rather than generating action plans from scratch for each movement. The information used for plan recall during object manipulation tasks is stored in extrinsic (object-centered) rather than intrinsic (body-centered) coordinates. The present study examined whether action plan recall processes are influenced by manual asymmetries. Right-handed (Experiment 1) and left-handed (Experiment 2) participants grasped a plunger from a home position using either the dominant or the non-dominant hand and placed it at one of the three target positions located at varying heights (home-to-target moves). Subsequently, they stepped sideways down from a podium (step-down podium), onto a podium (step-up podium), or without any podium present (no podium), before returning the plunger to the home platform using the same hand (target-back-to-home moves). The data show that, regardless of hand and handedness, participants grasped the plunger at similar heights during the home-to-target and target-back-to-home moves, even if they had to adopt quite different arm postures to do so. Thus, these findings indicate that the information used for plan recall processes in sequential object manipulation tasks is stored in extrinsic coordinates and in an effector-independent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2801-2812
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


  • Frame of reference
  • Grasping
  • Manual asymmetries
  • Motor planning
  • Posture


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