Hemispheric Specialization for Handwriting in Right Handers

Academic Article


  • Hand preference may be related to either lateralized language, movement representations, or both. Anatomic and behavioral studies have revealed that whereas each hemisphere has motor control of the contralateral distal and proximal limb movements, this same hemisphere"s control aver the ipsilateral limb is limited to proximal movements. This differential proximal-versus-distal organization may have functional implications such that when right handers write with their left hand they must use more proximal musculature than when they write with their right hand. If hand preference is related to lateralized movement representations, right handers may also use more proximal than distal movements when drawing with their left than with their right hand. If one uses distal musculature to write or draw, the elbow travels through space less than if one uses proximal musculature. We studied 12 right handers by having them write and draw with their right and left hands and measured the spatial amplitude of their elbow movements. We found that when writing or drawing, right handers moved their left elbow more than their right. These results suggest that it is the lateralized movement representations that may be primarily responsible for writing hand preference. © 1993 by Academic Press, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Mack L; Rothi LJG; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 80
  • End Page

  • 86
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 1