The power of multivariate approach in identifying EEG correlates of interlimb coupling

Sophie Hascher, Anastasia Shuster, Roy Mukamel, Ori Ossmy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interlimb coupling refers to the interaction between movements of one limb and movements of other limbs. Understanding mechanisms underlying this effect is important to real life because it reflects the level of interdependence between the limbs that plays a role in daily activities including tool use, cooking, or playing musical instruments. Interlimb coupling involves multiple brain regions working together, including coordination of neural activity in sensory and motor regions across the two hemispheres. Traditional neuroscience research took a univariate approach to identify neural features that correspond to behavioural coupling measures. Yet, this approach reduces the complexity of the neural activity during interlimb tasks to one value. In this brief research report, we argue that identifying neural correlates of interlimb coupling would benefit from a multivariate approach in which full patterns from multiple sources are used to predict behavioural coupling. We demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in an exploratory EEG study where participants (n = 10) completed 240 trials of a well-established drawing paradigm that involves interlimb coupling. Using artificial neural network (ANN), we show that multivariate representation of the EEG signal significantly captures the interlimb coupling during bimanual drawing whereas univariate analyses failed to identify such correlates. Our findings demonstrate that analysing distributed patterns of multiple EEG channels is more sensitive than single-value techniques in uncovering subtle differences between multiple neural signals. Using such techniques can improve identification of neural correlates of complex motor behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1256497
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - 2023


  • EEG
  • artificial neural network
  • bimanual coordination
  • interlimb coupling
  • multivariate analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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