Functional activation in motor cortex reflects the direction and the degree of handedness

Paul Dassonville, Xiao Hong Zhu, Kâmil Uǧurbil, Seong Gi Kim, James Ashe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


Handedness is the clearest example of behavioral lateralization in humans. It is not known whether the obvious asymmetry manifested by hand preference is associated with similar asymmetry in brain activation during movement. We examined the functional activation in cortical motor areas during movement of the dominant and nondominant hand in groups of right- handed and left-handed subjects and found that use of the dominant hand was associated with a greater volume of activation in the contralateral motor cortex. Furthermore, there was a separate relation between the degree of handedness and the extent of functional lateralization in the motor cortex. The patterns of functional activation associated with the direction and degree of handedness suggest that these aspects are independent and are coded separately in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14015-14018
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 9 1997


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