When a person standing upright raises an arm on cue, muscles of the left and right sides of the body exhibit changes prior to and specific to the responding arm. We had standing participants perform a visual lexical decision task (" is this letter string a word?" ), responding yes by raising one arm and no by raising the other arm. We recorded onset of the arm movement and onset of electromyographic activity in thigh, trunk, and shoulder muscles. We observed the expected responding arm specificity and found that the onset difference favoring word decisions was evident in similar magnitude at all measurement sites, with the difference at the levels of thigh, trunk and shoulder muscles available 225, 189, and 120. ms, respectively, prior to its manifestation at the level of arm movement. We discuss including (a) whole body reaction time along with event-related potentials in determining the decision-response, brain-body temporal relation and (b) response execution along with response initiation in investigating mental chronometry. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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