Ontogenesis of laterality in 3- to 10-yr.-old children: increased unimanual independence grounded on improved bimanual motor function
van Grunsven, W × Njiokiktjien, C Vuylsteke-Wauters, M Vranken, Maria #
Perceptual and Motor Skills vol:109 issue:1 pages:3-29
Underlying sensorimotor factors, such as intermanual coupling, contributing to optimal laterality, long remain immature. Using the handmotor laterality blackboard, developmental change in symmetric bimanual motor function for 413 children in groups of 3 to 10 years of age shows synchronicity increased between groups 3 and 5 years of age; but between groups 5 and 7 years of age, given immature coupling, one hand may still disturb the movements of the other one. Between groups 7 and 9 years of age, the hands gradually stop disturbing each other and move independently and fluently. Changes in intermanual coupling with increasing unimanual independence represent expression of changing interhemispheric integration across groups. This promotes optimal laterality and task distribution between the hands. Maturation of the corpus callosum is inferred to be a factor in these ontogenetic changes which ultimately lead to optimal left hemisphere specialization for actions such as fluent writing.