# Eli5 why is it hard to tap your head and rub your belly at the same time then switch hands?

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Eli5 why is it hard to tap your head and rub your belly at the same time then switch hands?

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I’m not a kinesiologist or anything, but I am a conductor. In our training, we spend some time practicing things like this to gain “hand independence”. People tend to be able to mirror their movements well (symmetry), or alternate their movements (right left right left), but doing two dissimilar things gets more complicated. Tapping and rubbing, in two different dimensional spaces (patting is up and down, rubbing is circular) is just hard enough to not come naturally. After decades of practice I can do things like this without thinking about them, but it took practice.

There are all sorts of fun ways to practice. One of the hardest we had was, stand facing a chalkboard with a piece of chalk in each hand. Draw a square with one hand, and a circle with the other, simultaneously. Another basic one is sitting at a table, draw clockwise circles with your finger. At some point as that’s going on, lift your right foot, and with your toe draw a “6” in the air.

I’m not a kinesiologist or anything, but I am a conductor. In our training, we spend some time practicing things like this to gain “hand independence”. People tend to be able to mirror their movements well (symmetry), or alternate their movements (right left right left), but doing two dissimilar things gets more complicated. Tapping and rubbing, in two different dimensional spaces (patting is up and down, rubbing is circular) is just hard enough to not come naturally. After decades of practice I can do things like this without thinking about them, but it took practice.

There are all sorts of fun ways to practice. One of the hardest we had was, stand facing a chalkboard with a piece of chalk in each hand. Draw a square with one hand, and a circle with the other, simultaneously. Another basic one is sitting at a table, draw clockwise circles with your finger. At some point as that’s going on, lift your right foot, and with your toe draw a “6” in the air.