Stephan P. Swinnen

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Locomotion in vertebrates and invertebrates has a long history in research as the most prominent example of interlimb coordination. However, the evolution towards upright stance and gait has paved the way for a bewildering variety of functions in which the upper limbs interact with each other in a context-specific manner. The neural basis of these bimanual(More)
UNLABELLED High-frequency mechanical strain seems to stimulate bone strength in animals. In this randomized controlled trial, hip BMD was measured in postmenopausal women after a 24-week whole body vibration (WBV) training program. Vibration training significantly increased BMD of the hip. These findings suggest that WBV training might be useful in the(More)
Although functional imaging studies have frequently examined age-related changes in neural recruitment during cognitive tasks, much less is known about such changes during motor performance. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate age-related changes in cyclical hand and/or foot movements across different degrees(More)
Whereas behavioral studies have made significant contributions toward the identification of the principles governing the coordination of limb movements, little is known about the role of higher brain areas that are involved in interlimb coordination. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to reveal the brain areas activated during the(More)
It is commonly agreed that a functional dissociation with respect to the internal vs external control of movements exists for several brain regions. This has, however, only been tested in relation to the timing and preparation of motor responses, but not to ongoing movement control. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study(More)
Functional imaging studies have shown that seniors exhibit more elaborate brain activation than younger controls while performing motor tasks. Here, we investigated whether this age-related overactivation reflects compensation or dedifferentiation mechanisms. "Compensation" refers to additional activation that counteracts age-related decline of brain(More)
Little is known about activation changes reflecting overlearning, i.e., extensive motor training beyond asymptotic performance. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to trace the neural shifts from an initial to a skilled (learning) and finally overlearned stage (automatization). Scanning occurred before training (PRE) and after 1 (MID) and 2(More)
Tasks that are easy when performed in isolation become difficult when performed simultaneously in the upper and/or lower limbs. This observation points to basic CNS constraints in the organization of patterns of interlimb coordination. The present studies provide evidence for the existence of two basic coordinative constraints whose effects may be additive(More)
Bimanual coordination, a prototype of a complex motor skill, has recently become the subject of intensive investigation. Whereas past research focused mainly on the identification of the elementary coordination constraints that limit performance, the focus is now shifting towards overcoming these coordination constraints by means of task symbolization or(More)
Motor skill acquisition is associated with the development of automaticity and induces neuroplastic changes in the brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the present study traced learning-related activation changes during the acquisition of a new complex bimanual skill, requiring a difficult spatio-temporal relationship between the(More)