1. We used conventional gradient echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at high field strength (4 Tesla) to functionally image the right motor cortex in six normal human subjects during the performance of a sequence of self-paced thumb to digit oppositions with the left hand (contralateral task), the right hand (ipsilateral task), and both hands (bilateral task). 2. A localized increase in activity in the lateral motor cortex was observed in all subjects during the task. The area of activation was similar in the contralateral and bilateral tasks but 20 times smaller in the ipsilateral task. The intensity of activation was 2.3 times greater in the contralateral than the ipsilateral task.