Motor fMRI studies, comparing dominant (DH) and nondominant (NDH) hand activations have reported mixed findings, especially for the extent of ipsilateral (IL) activations and their relationship with task complexity. To date, no study has directly compared DH and NDH activations using an event-related visually guided dynamic power-grip paradigm with parametric (three) forces (GF) in healthy right-handed subjects. We implemented a hierarchical statistical approach aimed to: (i) identify the main effect networks engaged when using either hand; (ii) characterise DH/NDH responses at different GFs; (iii) assess contralateral (CL)/IL-specific and hemisphere-specific activations. Beyond confirming previously reported results, this study demonstrated that increasing GF has an effect on motor response that is contextualised also by the use of DH or NDH. Linear analysis revealed increased activations in sensorimotor areas, with additional increased recruitments of subcortical and cerebellar areas when using the NDH. When looking at CL/IL-specific activations, CL sensorimotor areas and IL cerebellum were activated with both hands. When performing the task with the NDH, several areas were also recruited including the CL cerebellum. Finally, there were hand-side-independent activations of nonmotor-specific areas in the right and left hemispheres, with the right hemisphere being involved more extensively in sensori-motor integration through associative areas while the left hemisphere showing greater activation at higher GF. This study shows that the functional networks subtending DH/NDH power-grip visuomotor functions are qualitatively and quantitatively distinct and this should be taken into consideration when performing fMRI studies, particularly when planning interventions in patients with specific impairments. Hum Brain Mapp 36:5079-5100, 2015.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology