Does motor lateralization have implications for stroke rehabilitation?

Robert L. Sainburg, Susan V. Duff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Recent findings on motor lateralization have revealed consistent differences in the control strategies of the dominant and nondominant hemisphere/limb systems that could have implications for hemiplegic stroke patients. Studies in stroke patients have demonstrated deficiencies in the ipsilesional arm that reflect these distinctions; patients with right-hemisphere damage tend to show deficits in positional accuracy, and patients with left-hemisphere damage show deficits in trajectory control. Such deficits have been shown to impede functional performance; yet patients with severe dominant-side hemiplegia must often use the nondominant arm as the primary manipulator for activities of daily living. Nevertheless, the nondominant arm may not spontaneously become efficient as a dominant manipulator, as indicated by the persistence of deficits in chronic stroke patients. More research is necessary to determine whether motor therapy can facilitate a more effective transition of this arm from a nondominant to a dominant controller.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation


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