Lateralization of function is an important organizational feature of the motor system. Each effector is predominantly controlled by the contralateral cerebral cortex and the ipsilateral cerebellum. Transcranial magnetic stimulation studies have revealed hemispheric differences in the stimulation strength required to evoke a muscle response from the primary motor cortex (M1), with the dominant hemisphere typically requiring less stimulation than the nondominant. The current study assessed whether the strength of the connection between the cerebellum and M1 (CB-M1), known to change in association with motor learning, have hemispheric differences and whether these differences have any behavioral correlate. We observed, in right-handed individuals, that the connection between the right cerebellum and left M1 is typically stronger than the contralateral network. Behaviorally, we detected no lateralized learning processes, though we did find a significant effect on the amplitude of reaching movements across hands. Furthermore, we observed that the strength of the CB-M1 connection is correlated with the amplitude variability of reaching movements, a measure of movement precision, where stronger connectivity was associated with better precision. These findings indicate that lateralization in the motor system is present beyond the primary motor cortex, and points to an association between cerebellar M1 connectivity and movement execution.
- motor control
- transcranial magnetic stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience