Right lateralized motor cortex activation during volitional blinking

Ann Neurol. 2001 Jun;49(6):813-6. doi: 10.1002/ana.1063.


Using H2 15O positron emission tomography in 6 healthy volunteers, we found that self-initiated and externally cued blinking activated the right primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA). The left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the rostral SMA showed greater activation during the self-initiated task compared to the externally cued task. This study confirms the hypothesis of right hemispheric lateralization of volitional blinking derived from observations in stroke patients. Furthermore, it underscores the role of DLPFC and rostral SMA in self-initiated movements, which has been found in similar experiments with hand movements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blinking / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / blood supply
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / blood supply
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / blood supply
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed