Differentiating between two models of motor lateralization

Britne A. Shabbott, Robert L. Sainburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This study was designed to differentiate between two models of motor lateralization: "feedback corrections" and dynamic dominance. Whereas the feedback correction hypothesis suggests that handedness reflects a dominant hemisphere advantage for visual-mediated correction processes, dynamic dominance proposes that each hemisphere has become specialized for distinct aspects of control. This model suggests that the dominant hemisphere is specialized for controlling task dynamics, as required for coordinating efficient trajectories, and the nondominant hemisphere is specialized for controlling limb impedance, as required for maintaining stable postures. To differentiate between these two models, we examined whether visuomotor corrections are mediated differently for the nondominant and dominant arms. Participants performed targeted reaches in a virtual reality environment in which visuomotor rotations occurred in two directions that elicited corrections with different coordination requirements. The feedback correction model predicts a dominant arm advantage for the timing and accuracy of corrections in both directions. Dynamic dominance predicts that correction timing and accuracy will be similar for both arms, but that interlimb differences in the quality of corrections will depend on the coordination requirements, and thus, direction of corrections. Our results indicated that correction time and accuracy did not depend on arm. However, correction quality, as reflected by trajectory curvature, depended on both arm and rotation direction. Nondominant trajectories were systematically more curvilinear than dominant trajectories for corrections with the highest coordination requirement. These results support the dynamic dominance hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-575
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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