Functional lateralization of the human premotor cortex during sequential movements

Brain Cogn. 2002 Jun;49(1):54-62. doi: 10.1006/brcg.2001.1483.


A neurological truism is that each side of the brain controls movements on the opposite side of the body. Yet some left hemisphere brain lesions cause bilateral impairment of complex motor function and/or ideomotor apraxia. We report that the left dorsal premotor cortex of normal right-handed people plays a fundamental role in sequential movement of both right and left hands. Subjects performed sequential finger movements during functional magnetic resonance imaging of the motor cortices. In right-handed subjects, the volume of activated dorsal premotor cortex showed a left hemispheric predominance during hand movements. We suggest that the observed left premotor dominance contributes to the lateralization found in lesion studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*