Interlimb transfer of visuomotor rotations depends on handedness

Jinsung Wang, Robert L. Sainburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (SciVal)


We previously reported that opposite arm adaptation to visuomotor rotations improved the initial direction of right arm movements in right-handers, whereas it only improved the final position accuracy of their left arm movements. We now investigate the pattern of interlimb transfer following adaptation to 30° visuomotor rotations in left-handers to determine whether the direction of transfer depends on handedness. Our results indicate unambiguous transfer across the arms. In terms of final position accuracy, the direction of transfer is opposite to that observed in right-handers, such that transfer only occurred from the left to the right arm movements. Directional accuracy also showed the opposite pattern of transfer to that of right-handers: initial movement direction, calculated at peak tangential acceleration, transferred only from right to left arms. When movement direction was measured later in the movement, at peak tangential velocity, asymmetrical transfer also occurred, such that greater transfer occurred from right to left arms. However, a small, but significant influence of opposite arm adaptation also occurred for the left arm, which might reflect differences in the use of the nondominant arm between left- and right-handers. Overall, our results indicate that left-handers show a mirror-imaged pattern of interlimb transfer in visuomotor adaptation to that previously reported for right-handers. This pattern of transfer is consistent with the hypothesis that asymmetry in interlimb transfer is dependent on differential specialization of the dominant and nondominant hemisphere/limb systems for trajectory and positional control, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


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