Cortical Activations in Humans Grasp-Related Areas Depend on Hand Used and Handedness

Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2008; 3(10):e3388. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003388
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In non-human primates grasp-related sensorimotor transformations are accomplished in a circuit involving the anterior intraparietal sulcus (area AIP) and both the ventral and the dorsal sectors of the premotor cortex (vPMC and dPMC, respectively). Although a human homologue of such a circuit has been identified whether activity within this circuit varies depending on handedness has yet to be investigated.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explicitly test how handedness modulates activity within human grasping-related brain areas. Right- and left-handers subjects were requested to reach towards and grasp an object with either the right or the left hand using a precision grip while scanned. A kinematic study was conducted with similar procedures as a behavioral counterpart for the fMRI experiment. Results from a factorial design revealed significant activity within the right dPMC, the right cerebellum and AIP bilaterally. The pattern of activity within these areas mirrored the results found for the behavioral study.
Data are discussed in terms of an handedness-independent role for the right dPMC in monitoring hand shaping, the need for bilateral AIP activity for the performance of precision grip movements which varies depending on handedness and the involvement of the cerebellum in terms of its connections with AIP. These results provide the first compelling evidence of specific grasping related neural activity depending on handedness.

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Available from: Wolfgang Grodd, Aug 18, 2015
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    • "The structural configuration of the human hand allows the opposing action of the thumb surface to the corresponding surfaces of the other four fingertips. Controlled by a highly evolved nervous system, the human is one among the few species on Earth known to be capable of executing a firm grasp (Begliomini et al., 2008; Cutkosky and Howe, 1990; Markze, 1971). Because of this, the hand has become an indespensable part of the human body for controlling and effecting changes on the environment, either with or without the aid of tools. "
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    • "in information processing that effect on behavioural performance [3] [6] [23] [55] and that especially become prominent as a function of task complexity [50]. Building on previous research work, the aim of the present electroencephalogram (EEG) study is to evaluate the neural correlates of unimanual and bimanual sequencing in leftvs . "
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    ABSTRACT: Sequencing of finger positions reflects a prototype of skilled behaviour. In order to perform sequencing, cognitive control supports the requirements and postural transitions. In this electroencephalography (EEG) study, we evaluate the effects of hand dominance and assess the neural correlates of unimanual and bimanual sequencing in left- and right-handers. The behavioural measurements provided an index of response planning (response time to first key press) and response execution (time between successive key presses, taps/s and percentage of correct responses), whereas the neural dynamics was determined by means of EEG coherence, expressing the functional connectivity between brain areas. Correlations between brain activity and behaviour were calculated for exploring the neural correlates that are functionally relevant for sequencing. Brain-behavioural correlations during response planning and execution revealed the significance of circuitry in the left hemisphere, underlining its significant role in the organisation of goal-directed behaviour. This lateralisation profile was independent of intrinsic constraints (hand dominance) and extrinsic demands (task requirements), suggesting essential higher-order computations in the left hemisphere. Overall, the observations highlight that the left hemisphere is specialised for sequential motor organisation in left- and right-handers, suggesting an endogenous hemispheric asymmetry for compound actions and the representation of skill; processes that can be separated from those that are involved in hand dominance. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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    • "Findings also add to the previous literature (e.g., Beaton, 2003, 2004; Beaton & Mari€ en, 2010; J€ ancke et al., 1999; McManus & Cornish, 1997; Peters, 1995; Snyder et al., 1995), which suggests that cerebellar dominance plays a unique role in handedness. More specifically, the correlation between articular joint passivity and motor performance tests for the upper limb, which has always worked with the given tool grasped by fingers in a certain way, support the findings of the study Begliomini et al. (2008), in which a correlation between cerebellum activation, handedness and grasp-related core areas was observed. In addition, in this study hand performance tests were used in which the final test result was affected by the level of precision and speed, which can also be formulated as the ability of time synchronization of movements where muscle tonus control plays an important role (Gowen & Miall, 2007; Keele & Ivry, 1990; Miall & Reckess, 2002; Miall et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although literature surrounding handedness and cerebellar asymmetry is limited, many researchers have suggested that a relationship exists (e.g., A. A. Beaton, 2003; L. Jäncke, K. Specht, S. Mirzazade, & M. Peters, 1999; I. C. McManus & K. M. Cornish, 1997; M. Peters, 1995; P. J. Snyder, R. M. Bilder, H. Wu, B. Bogerts, & J. A. Lieberman, 1995). For example, J. Tichy and J. Belacek (2008, 2009) identified a link between cerebellar dominance and hand preference. The authors aimed to assess the relationship between cerebellar dominance and handedness, in 8–10-year olds (N = 157right-handers) asassessed with hand performance tests. Articular joint passivity in the wrist and performance differences between the hands were used as a means of assessing cerebellar dominance, where a link to skilled hand performance tests was revealed. Specifically, significant correlations between articular joint passivity and all measurements of handedness (p < .001) were observed. Greater hypotonia was seen in the left wrist of 95% of right-handers. This result supports the assumption that the preferred and nonpreferred hand could be controlled by the cerebellum in a different ways.
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