Dissociation of initial trajectory and final position errors during visuomotor adaptation following unilateral stroke.
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Previous studies have demonstrated that following stroke, motor impairment can occur ipsilateral to the lesion. Such impairments have provided insight into the contributions of each hemisphere to movement control, showing that left and right hemisphere damage produce different effects on movement: Left hemisphere damage produces deficits in specifying features of movement trajectory, while right hemisphere damage produces deficits in achieving an accurate and stable final position. We now propose that left and right hemisphere damage should also produce different deficits in the adaptation of trajectory and position. To test this idea, we examined adaptation to visuomotor rotations in the ipsilesional arms of hemiparetic stroke patients with left (LHD) and right hemisphere damage (RHD). We found that LHD interfered with adaptation of initial direction, but not with the ability to adapt the final position of the limb. In contrast, RHD interfered with online corrections to the final position during the course of adaptation. These findings support our hypothesis that the control of trajectory and steady-state position may be lateralized to the left and right hemispheres, respectively.