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Plastic changes in motor control in converted left-handers

Until some decades ago left-handed children who attended Polish schools were often forced to use their right hand for writing. In some of them the process of switching to the right hand was smooth and they were easily able to change their hand preference (at least for writing), but in some, it was very difficult and not fully successful. We are interested whether “converted” left-handers use the same brain areas as innate right-handers for the control of various motor tasks (including writing). To address this issue we investigate with fMRI functional neuroanatomy of simple and complex motor actions performed with the dominant and non-dominant hand in right-handers, left-handers and in groups of converted left-handers who switched to the right hand with or without difficulties. Specifically, we want to find out whether the brain activity pattern corresponds to what can be observed at the behavioral level (i.e. the preferences in using left and right hands). We are also interested in changes in brain activation patterns in those people who (for some reasons) have had one hand immobilized for a longer period. Some of them permanently changed their hand-use preferences.

The study is continued.

Grabowska A, Gut M. Human brain plasicity: mechanisms and functional relevance of cortical reorganisation. (submitted)

Grabowska A, Gut M. Handedness and cortical organisation of motor function: a new perspective based on functional neuroimaging. (submitted)

Gut M. Plastyczny mózg. Wszechświat, 105 (1-3): 2004

Gut M. Zmiany plastyczne w korze zawiadującej ruchami rąk u osób przestawionych z ręki lewej na prawą. Biuletyn Informacyjny Oddziału Warszawskiego PTD, 25: 33-41, 2003

 

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology (c) 2015