Animals were tested for forelimb preference in a grasp or in a force task before microstimulation mapping of the primary motor cortex contralateral to the preferred forelimb. The size and location of the preferred forelimb primary motor cortex representation was determined and ablated. Seven days later, forelimb preference was again evaluated. Reversal of the initial preference after cortical ablation depended on the size of the preferred forelimb primary motor cortex representation. The mean size of the forelimb representation of the animals that immediately reversed forelimb preference after the cortical ablation was significantly smaller than the mean size of the representation of the animals that did not reverse forelimb preference in three consecutive tests seven days after the lesion. In another experiment, the size, location, and threshold currents of the forelimb representations were evaluated bilaterally before the forelimb preference test. The mean size of the preferred representations did not differ from the mean size of the non-preferred representations. However, when the primary motor cortex representation of the preferred forelimb was ablated, reversal of the initial preference depended, as in the previous experiment, on the size of the forelimb representation. In conclusion, reversal of forelimb preference after ablation of the preferred forelimb primary motor cortex representation depends on the size of the forelimb representation. Moreover, forelimb preference in a behavioral task is not associated with a larger forelimb representation in the contralateral primary motor cortex.