Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Imagined and Actual Limb Selection: A Test of Preference

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Imagined and Actual Limb Selection: A Test of Preference

Article excerpt

Casi Rabb Helbig, Texas Lutheran University, and Carl Gabbard, Texas A&M University

Recent studies suggest that imagined and actual movements share common neurocognitive networks (e.g., Decety, 1996) and with manual tasks, such actions are controlled primarily by the hemispheres contralateral to the imagined limb (Maruff et al., 1999). Although motor dominance has been shown to be a strong factor in determining choice of limb for reaching movements at the midline and dominant (ipsilateral) side, recent research suggests that for goal-oriented actions in contralateral hemispace, object proximity (Rosenbaum, 1991; Stins & Michaels, 1997) and a hemispheric bias for using the hand on the same side as the stimulus-in ipsilateral fashion (e.g., Simon, 1969; Verfaellie & Heilman, 1990) are influencing factors. With the present study, imagined and actual motor performance were compared to determine what factor(s) drive limb selection for programming movements in contralateral hemispace. Forty right-handed blindfolded participants were asked to 'reach' via auditory stimulus for a small object placed at multiple locations in hemispace. Although an arms uncrossed condition was part of the experiment to corroborate previous findings, participants were also asked to perform beginning with the arms-crossed. …

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