Manual Asymmetries in the Preparation and Control of Goal-Directed Movements Academic Article uri icon

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  • The primary purpose of this experiment was to determine if left hand reaction time advantages in manual aiming result from a right hemisphere attentional advantage or an early right hemisphere role in movement preparation. Right-handed participants were required to either make rapid goal-directed movements to small targets or simply lift their hand upon target illumination. The amount of advance information about the target for a particular trial was manipulated by precuing a subset of potential targets prior to the reaction time interval. When participants were required to make aiming movements to targets in left space, the left hand enjoyed a reaction advantage that was not present for aiming in right space or simple finger lifts. This advantage was independent of the amount or type of advance information provided by the precue. This finding supports the movement planning hypothesis. With respect to movement execution, participants completed their aiming movements more quickly when aiming with their right hand, particularly in right space. This right hand advantage in right space was due to the time required to decelerate the movement and to make feedback-based adjustments late in the movement trajectory.


  • Mieschke, Paul E
  • Elliott, Digby
  • Helsen, Werner F
  • Carson, Richard G
  • Coull, Jamie A

publication date

  • February 2001