Asymmetry of cortical activation during maximum and convenient tapping speed

Neurosci Lett. 2005 Jan 3;373(1):61-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.09.058.


An effect of finger tapping rate on the hemodynamic response in primary motor cortex and the cerebellum has been well established over the last years (the rate effect). The present study compares the magnitude of this effect when either the dominant or subdominant hand is used by right and left handers. In contrast to previous studies maximum and convenient tapping rate for both hands are used as tapping tasks. The results confirm "rate effects" for the primary motor cortex and the cerebellum. In addition, a "rate effect" was found for the cingulate motor area. A novel finding is that the cortical and cerebellar "rate effects" are similar for the subdominant and for the dominant hand even though tapping rates are lower for the subdominant hand. This result demonstrates that the subdominant motor cortex and neurally connected cerebellar areas operate at suboptimal control levels although maximum neurophysiological activation has been reached during the maximum tapping task.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*