Manual Asymmetry During Object Release Under Varying Task Constraints

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OBJECTIVE. This study examined differences between the dominant and nondominant hands of children during an object release task under various accuracy and speed constraints.

METHOD. Fifteen children 7 to 14 years of age who were typically developing released an instrumented object held with a precision grip onto a stable or unstable surface at a self-paced or quick speed while temporal and force measures were recorded.

RESULTS. Few differences were found between the two hands under stable, self-paced conditions. However, given accuracy constraints, object replacement with the nondominant hand took longer than the dominant hand. The nondominant hand exhibited different force coordination patterns than the dominant hand when both accuracy and speed constraints were imposed.

CONCLUSION. Task constraints differentially affected the performance of the dominant and nondominant hands during this object release task. The results suggest that clinicians should incorporate various task constraints into hand preference evaluations and during “dominance retraining.”


This article was originally published in American Journal of Occupational Therapy, volume 56, issue 4, in 2002. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.56.4.391

Peer Reviewed



American Occupational Therapy Association