Hand effects on mentally simulated reaching.

Research paper by Carl C Gabbard, Diala D Ammar, Luis L Rodrigues

Indexed on: 22 Oct '05Published on: 22 Oct '05Published in: Human Movement Science


Within the area of simulated (imagined) versus actual movement research, investigators have discovered that mentally simulated movements, like real actions, are controlled primarily by the hemispheres contralateral to the simulated limb. Furthermore, evidence points to a left-brain advantage for accuracy of simulated movements. With this information it could be suggested that, compared to left-handers, most right-handers would have an advantage. To test this hypothesis, strong right- and left-handers were compared on judgments of perceived reachability to visual targets lasting 150 ms in multiple locations of midline, right- and left-visual field (RVF/LVF). In reference to within group responses, we found no hemispheric or hand use advantage for right-handers. Although left-handers revealed no hemispheric advantage, there was a significant hand effect, favoring the non-dominant limb, most notably in LVF. This finding is explained in regard to a possible interference effect for left-handers, not shown for right-handers. Overall, left-handers displayed significantly more errors across hemispace. Therefore, it appears that when comparing hand groups, a left-hemisphere advantage favoring right-handers is plausible.