Anterior and posterior callosal contributions to simultaneous bimanual movements of the hands and fingers

James C. Eliassen, Kathleen Baynes, Michael S. Gazzaniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


In order to study the role of the corpus callosum in two-handed coordination we tested callosotomy subjects while they attempted to initiate simultaneous discrete movements with both hands. We observed four split-brain patients, including one pre- and post-operatively, as well as normal and epileptic control subjects. Split-brain patients made button presses that were less synchronous than either normal or epileptic controls. Although split-brain patients' average performance did not always differ from control subjects, callosotomy resulted in a 3-fold increase in the variability with which 'simultaneous' movements were initiated. The one subject tested pre- and post-callosotomy showed distinct changes in movement initiation synchrony after both the anterior and the posterior stages of the surgery. These changes suggest that anterior and posterior callosal fibres may make unique contributions to bimanual synchronization, depending on whether responses are self-initiated or in reaction to a visual stimulus. This study demonstrates that neural communication across anterior and posterior fibres of the corpus callosum strongly influences the temporal precision of bimanual coordination. Specifically, callosal transmission affects the degree of bilateral synchrony with which simple simultaneous hand and finger movements are initiated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2501-2511
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000


  • Bimanual coordination
  • Callosotomy
  • Interhemispheric integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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