Transcallosal connection patterns of opposite dorsal premotor regions support a lateralized specialization for action and perception

Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Sep;40(6):2980-6. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12656. Epub 2014 Jun 19.


Lateralization of higher brain functions requires that a dominant hemisphere collects relevant information from both sides. The right dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), particularly implicated in visuomotor transformations, was hypothesized to be optimally located to converge visuospatial information from both hemispheres for goal-directed movement. This was assessed by probabilistic tractography and a novel analysis enabling group comparisons of whole-brain connectivity distributions of the left and right PMd in standard space (16 human subjects). The resulting dominance of contralateral PMd connections was characterized by right PMd connections with left visual and parietal areas, indeed supporting a dominant role in visuomotor transformations, while the left PMd showed dominant contralateral connections with the frontal lobe. Ipsilateral right PMd connections were also stronger with posterior parietal regions, relative to the left PMd connections, while ipsilateral connections of the left PMd were stronger with, particularly, the anterior cingulate, the ventral premotor and anterior parietal cortex. The pattern of dominant right PMd connections thus points to a specific role in guiding perceptual information into the motor system, while the left PMd connections are consistent with action dominance based on a lead in motor intention and fine precision skills.

Keywords: diffusion tensor imaging; dorsal premotor cortex; hemisphere lateralization; human; transcallosal connections; visuomotor control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Motion Perception
  • Motor Activity
  • Motor Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Neural Pathways / anatomy & histology