The left cerebral hemisphere may be dominant for the control of bimanual symmetric reach-to-grasp movements.

Research paper by Jarrod J Blinch, Jason W JW Flindall, Łukasz Ł Smaga, Kwanghee K Jung, Claudia Lr CL Gonzalez

Indexed on: 01 Nov '19Published on: 31 Oct '19Published in: Experimental Brain Research


Previous research has established that the left cerebral hemisphere is dominant for the control of continuous bimanual movements. The lateralisation of motor control for discrete bimanual movements, in contrast, is underexplored. The purpose of the current study was to investigate which (if either) hemisphere is dominant for discrete bimanual movements. Twenty-one participants made bimanual reach-to-grasp movements towards pieces of candy. Participants grasped the candy to either place it in their mouths (grasp-to-eat) or in a receptacle near their mouths (grasp-to-place). Research has shown smaller maximum grip apertures (MGAs) for unimanual grasp-to-eat movements than unimanual grasp-to-place movements when controlled by the left hemisphere. In Experiment 1, participants made bimanual symmetric movements where both hands made grasp-to-eat or grasp-to-place movements. We hypothesised that a left hemisphere dominance for bimanual movements would cause smaller MGAs in both hands during bimanual grasp-to-eat movements compared to those in bimanual grasp-to-place movements. The results revealed that MGAs were indeed smaller for bimanual grasp-to-eat movements than grasp-to-place movements. This supports that the left hemisphere may be dominant for the control of bimanual symmetric movements, which agrees with studies on continuous bimanual movements. In Experiment 2, participants made bimanual asymmetric movements where one hand made a grasp-to-eat movement while the other hand made a grasp-to-place movement. The results failed to support the potential predictions of left hemisphere dominance, right hemisphere dominance, or contralateral control.