Motor "dexterity"?: Evidence that left hemisphere lateralization of motor circuit connectivity is associated with better motor performance in children

Cereb Cortex. 2012 Jan;22(1):51-9. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr062. Epub 2011 May 25.


Motor control relies on well-established motor circuits, which are critical for typical child development. Although many imaging studies have examined task activation during motor performance, none have examined the relationship between functional intrinsic connectivity and motor ability. The current study investigated the relationship between resting state functional connectivity within the motor network and motor performance assessment outside of the scanner in 40 typically developing right-handed children. Better motor performance correlated with greater left-lateralized (mean left hemisphere-mean right hemisphere) motor circuit connectivity. Speed, rhythmicity, and control of movements were associated with connectivity within different individual region pairs: faster speed was associated with more left-lateralized putamen-thalamus connectivity, less overflow with more left-lateralized supplementary motor-primary motor connectivity, and less dysrhythmia with more left-lateralized supplementary motor-anterior cerebellar connectivity. These findings suggest that for right-handed children, superior motor development depends on the establishment of left-hemisphere dominance in intrinsic motor network connectivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / blood supply
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rest / physiology


  • Oxygen