Upper limb asymmetries in the utilization of proprioceptive feedback
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Despite the importance of proprioception during upper limb movement, the extent to which arm/hemisphere asymmetries exist in the utilization of proprioceptive feedback remains unclear. In the present study, movement accuracy and arm dynamics were examined in 20 right-handed adults during a proprioceptive matching task that required subjects to actively match remembered target positions of the elbow with the contralateral arm. As hypothesized, the results indicated an accuracy advantage in favor of the non-preferred left arm reflected by smaller absolute matching errors when compared to the preferred right arm. This advantage was most pronounced for larger amplitude movements and was not associated with any limb-specific difference in movement strategy as indicated by the dynamics of the matching movement. These results extend current theories of handedness by demonstrating that, in right-handed individuals, the non-preferred arm/hemisphere system is more adept at utilizing position-related proprioceptive information than the preferred arm/hemisphere system.
KeywordsHandedness Kinematics Hemispheric specialization Human movement
Special thanks to J. Chesney for his assistance with the data collection and analysis aspects of this project.