Complexity matching and coordination in individual and dyadic performance

Daniel S. Schloesser, Christopher T. Kello, Vivien Marmelat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Complexity matching is a measure of coordination based on information exchange between complex networks. To date, studies have focused mainly on interpersonal coordination, but complexity matching may generalize to interacting networks within individuals. The present study examined complexity matching in a double, coordinated Fitts' perceptual-motor task with comparable individual and dyadic conditions. Participants alternated touching targets with their left and right hands in the individual condition, or analogously with the left hand of one partner and the right hand of another in the dyadic condition. In Experiment 1, response coupling was manipulated by making targets drift either randomly or contingently based on prior responses. Here, drift refers to the variability in the target movements between response locations. Long-range correlations in time series of inter-response intervals exhibited complexity matching between the left and right hands of dyads and individuals. Response coupling was necessary for complexity matching in dyads but not individuals. When response coupling was absent in the dyadic condition, the degree of complexity matching was significantly reduced. Experiment 2 showed that the effect of coupling was due to interactions between left and right responses. Results also showed a weak, negative relationship between complexity matching and performance as measured by total response time. In conclusion, principles and measures of complexity matching apply similarly within and between individuals, and perceptual-motor performance can be facilitated by loose response coupling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-272
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Movement Science
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Bimanual coordination
  • Complexity matching
  • Fitts’ task
  • Interpersonal coordination
  • Long-range correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Complexity matching and coordination in individual and dyadic performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this