Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 224, Issue 2, pp 263–273 | Cite as

A right hemisphere dominance for bimanual grasps

  • Ada Le
  • Matthias Niemeier
Research Article


To find points on the surface of an object that ensure a stable grasp, it would be most effective to employ one area in one cortical hemisphere. But grasping the object with both hands requires control through both hemispheres. To better understand the control mechanisms underlying this “bimanual grasping”, here we examined how the two hemispheres coordinate their control processes for bimanual grasping depending on visual field. We asked if bimanual grasping involves both visual fields equally or one more than the other. To test this, participants fixated either to the left or right of an object and then grasped or pushed it off a pedestal. We found that when participants grasped the object in the right visual field, maximum grip aperture (MGA) was larger and more variable, and participants were slower to react and to show MGA compared to when they grasped the object in the left visual field. In contrast, when participants pushed the object we observed no comparable visual field effects. These results suggest that grasping with both hands, specifically the computation of grasp points on the object, predominantly involves the right hemisphere. Our study provides new insights into the interactions of the two hemispheres for grasping.


Bimanual grasping Bimanual coordination Sensorimotor control Visual field effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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