Role of brain hemispheric dominance in anticipatory postural control strategies
Most of the cerebral functions are asymmetrically represented in the two hemispheres. Moreover, dexterity and coordination of the distal segment of the dominant limbs depend on cortico-motor lateralization. In this study, we investigated whether postural control may be also considered a lateralized hemispheric brain function. To this aim, 15 young subjects were tested in standing position by measuring Center of Pressure (COP) shifts along the antero-posterior axis (COP-Y) during dynamic posturography before and after continuous Theta Burst Stimulation (cTBS) intervention applied to the dominant or non-dominant M1 hand area as well as to the vertex. We show that when subjects were expecting a forward platform translation, the COP-Y was positioned significantly backward or forward after dominant or non-dominant M1 stimulation, respectively. We postulate that cTBS applied on M1 may have disrupted the functional connectivity between intra- and inter-hemispheric areas implicated in the anticipatory control of postural stability. This study suggests a functional asymmetry between the two homologous primary motor areas, with the dominant hemisphere playing a critical role in the selection of the appropriate postural control strategy.