Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we addressed the contribution of both hemispheres to the visuomotor control of each hand. The subjects had to press one of two buttons as quickly as possible after the go-signal. A precue preceding this conveyed full, partial or no advance information ( hand and/or button), such that reaction time (RT) shortened with increasing amount of information. We gave TMS over each hemisphere at various time intervals (100-350 ms) after the go-signal and before the expected onset of response, and measured its effect on RT, movement time (MT) and error rate. At short intervals (100-200 ms), left hemisphere TMS delayed RT and prolonged MT of both hands, while right hemisphere TMS delayed RT only of the right hand, without affecting error rates. At long intervals (250-350 ms), TMS produced slightly more pronounced RT delays of the contralateral hand. RT was delayed more if the precues were less informative. The results suggest the importance of interhemispheric transmission of visuomotor information for motor implementation. The right hemisphere may play a role mainly in calculating target and effector information, determining RT, while the left hemisphere may play a role in elaborating the motor program and determining MT.
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