Hemispheric differences in motor control Academic Article uri icon


  • Two lines of evidence are presented to suggest that the left hemisphere in human beings plays a special role in the organization of complex motor behaviour, an idea first put forward by Liepmann and extended more recently by Kimura. The results of one line of research suggest that the right-sided asymmetries observed in movements of the mouth during verbal and non-verbal tasks reflect the fact that mechanisms within the left hemisphere are particularly involved in selecting individual movements and facilitating the transition from one movement to another. The results of the second line of research extend this idea and suggest that the organization of eye and limb movements during visually guided reaching is also dependent on these left-hemisphere mechanisms. These findings, together with the work of a number of other workers, all point to the same conclusion: that speech is but one example of a great number of different motor patterns mediated in part by neural systems within the so-called 'dominant' hemisphere.

publication date

  • September 1988