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Which factors affect hand selection in children's grasping in hemispace? Combined effects of task demand and motor dominance

Sixty-five right- and left-handed preschool and school children were tested on three reach-to-grasp tasks of different levels of complexity, performed in three space locations. Our goal was to evaluate how the effect of attentional information related to object location interacts with task complexity and degree of handedness on children's hand selection. Results revealed a shift to the non-preferred hand in the contralateral hemispace, which was more or less pronounced according to the level of task complexity. The subject's degree of handedness also influenced this shift, since strongly lateralized children exhibited a greater use of their preferred hand than less lateralized ones for actions in the contralateral hemispace. These findings confirm that hand selection is to some extent adaptable to task demand and environmental context.



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