Targeted aiming movements are compromised in nonaffected limb of persons with stroke

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2007 Sep-Oct;21(5):388-97. doi: 10.1177/1545968306297872. Epub 2007 Mar 16.


Background: Research has shown that movement impairments following stroke are typically associated with the limb contralateral to the side of the stroke. Prior studies identified ipsilateral motor declines across a variety of tasks.

Objective: Two experiments were conducted to better understand the ipsilateral contributions to organization and execution of proximal upper extremity multisegment aiming movements in persons with right-hemispheric stroke.

Methods: Participants performed reciprocal aiming (Experiment 1) and 2-segment aiming movements (Experiment 2) on a digitizing tablet. In both experiments, target size and/or target orientation were manipulated to examine the influence of accuracy constraints on the planning and organization of movements.

Results: Kinematic measures, submovement analysis, and harmonicity measures were included in this study. Declines in organization and execution of multisegment movements were found to contribute to performance decrements and slowing in stroke patients. Furthermore, stroke patients were unable to efficiently plan multisegment movements as one functional unit, resulting in discrete movements.

Conclusions: Results suggest the importance of considering ipsilateral contributions to the control and organization of targeted aiming movements as well as implications for rehabilitation and recovery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arm / physiopathology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke / psychology
  • Task Performance and Analysis*