Hand skill asymmetry in professional musicians

Brain Cogn. 1997 Aug;34(3):424-32. doi: 10.1006/brcg.1997.0922.


Hand skill asymmetry on two handedness tasks was examined in consistent right-handed musicians and nonmusicians as well as mixed-handed and consistent left-handed nonmusicians. Musicians, although demonstrating right-hand superiority, revealed a lesser degree of hand skill asymmetry than consistent right-handed nonmusicians. Increased left-hand skill in musicians accounted for their reduced asymmetry. Musicians predominantly playing keyboard instruments demonstrated superior tapping performance than musicians playing predominantly string instruments, although they did not differ with respect to hand skill asymmetry. Since the diminished tapping asymmetry in musicians was related to early commencement but not duration of musical training, results are interpreted as an adaptation process due to performance requirements interacting with cerebral maturation during childhood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Task Performance and Analysis