Bimanual coordination is governed by constraints that permit congruent movements to be performed more easily than incongruent movements. Theories concerning the origin of these constraints range from low level motor-muscle explanations to high level perceptual-cognitive ones. To elucidate the processes underlying coordinative constraints, we asked subjects to use a pair of left-right joysticks to acquire corresponding pairs of congruent and incongruent targets presented on a video monitor under task conditions designed to systematically modulate the impact of several perceptual-cognitive processes commonly required for bimanual task performance. These processes included decoding symbolic cues, detecting goal targets, conceptualizing movements in terms of goal target configuration, planning movement trajectories, producing saccades and perceiving visual feedback. Results demonstrate that constraints arise from target detection and trajectory planning processes that can occur prior to movement initiation as well as from inherent muscle properties that emerge during movement execution, and that the manifestation of these constraints can be significantly altered by the ability to visually monitor movement progress.