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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2012, Article ID 627816, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/627816
Review Article

Interhemispheric Control of Unilateral Movement

1Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 3J7
2Research Center, Sainte-Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada H3T 1C5

Received 28 August 2012; Accepted 4 November 2012

Academic Editor: Matteo Caleo

Copyright © 2012 Vincent Beaulé et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To perform strictly unilateral movements, the brain relies on a large cortical and subcortical network. This network enables healthy adults to perform complex unimanual motor tasks without the activation of contralateral muscles. However, mirror movements (involuntary movements in ipsilateral muscles that can accompany intended movement) can be seen in healthy individuals if a task is complex or fatiguing, in childhood, and with increasing age. Lateralization of movement depends on complex interhemispheric communication between cortical (i.e., dorsal premotor cortex, supplementary motor area) and subcortical (i.e., basal ganglia) areas, probably coursing through the corpus callosum (CC). Here, we will focus on transcallosal interhemispheric inhibition (IHI), which facilitates complex unilateral movements and appears to play an important role in handedness, pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and stroke recovery.