Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 12, pp 3133–3142 | Cite as

Hemispheric lateralization does not affect the cognitive and mechanical cost of a sequential motor task

  • Christoph SchützEmail author
  • Thomas Schack
Research Article


In sequential, repetitive tasks, we often partially reuse former motor plans. This causes a persistence of an earlier adopted posture (termed motor hysteresis). The cost-optimization hypothesis states that a partial reuse reduces the cognitive cost of a movement, while the persistence in a former posture increases its mechanical cost. An optimal fraction of reuse, which depends on the relative cognitive and mechanical cost, minimizes the total movement cost. Several studies postulate differences in mechanical or cognitive cost as a result of hemispheric lateralization. In the current study, we asked whether these differences would result in different fractions of motor plan reuse. To this end, left- and right-handed dominant participants executed a sequential motor task (opening a column of drawers) with their dominant and non-dominant hand. The size of the motor hysteresis effect was measured as a proxy for the fraction of plan reuse. Participants used similar postures and exhibited a similar hysteresis effect, irrespective of hand and handedness. This finding indicates that either the cognitive and mechanical costs of a motor task are unaffected by hemispheric differences or that their effect on motor planning is negligible.


Motor planning Motor hysteresis Hemispheric lateralization Handedness 



This work was funded by Grant SCHU 2459/2-1 of the German Research Foundation (DFG) granted to Christoph Schütz.

Supplementary material

221_2019_5652_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (300 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 299 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology, Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Sports ScienceBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  3. 3.CoR-Lab, Research Institute for Cognition and RoboticsBielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany

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