Influence of Spatial Mapping on Manual Aiming Asymmetries
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Two experiments were conducted to examine manual asymmetries in a one-dimensional aiming task. In Exp. 1, 10 right-handed adults slid a computer mouse 13 cm on a graphics tablet with both the right and left hands to targets of 3 different diameters. Under these conditions, the movement time for the right hand was significantly faster as expected. In Exp. 2, subjects performed similar movements to move a cursor 13 cm on a computer monitor. Thus the study was identical except the stimulus-response mapping was indirect. In this situation, there were no significant difference for either movement time or movement error between hands despite these performance measures indicating the target aiming was more difficult in Exp. 2. Because increases in task difficulty generally result in a greater advantage for the right hand, as indicated by Todor & Smiley, 1985, the present studies suggest that superiority of the right hand in aiming tasks may be diminished when spatial translation is required. Perhaps the spatial translation requires greater involvement of the right hemisphere, a process associated with manual advantage for the left hand, previously suggested by Roy and MacKenzie.
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