Ahmedabad: As the famous saying goes, the left hand shouldn’t know what the right is doing – whether the context is charity or noble deeds, indicating its more private nature. But a study by researchers at IIT Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) claims that the left hand does indeed know what the right is doing!
Goldy Yadav, who received his doctorate from the institute at the recent convocation, obtained his doctorate in the discipline of cognitive science with the title “Generalization among members of newly acquired motor skills”.
âMy previous work focused on cognitive science and brain function. My doctoral work widened the scope to understand whether skills learned on one side of the body (only the hands were tested) can be transferred to the other side, âsaid Yadav, who is now a post-doctoral researcher in Belgium.
Acquiring skills, primarily motor skills, provides insight into how the human brain works, Yadav said. The study consisted of right-handed individuals who learned new skills, such as performing very precise movements in a short period of time on a computer-to-tablet setup.
âWhen we ask a right-hander to do the task with their left hand, it’s usually a trade-off between speed and precision. But during our trials, we observed a robust and symmetrical inter-limb transfer across the arms, unlike an asymmetry seen in a number of motor adaptation studies. Interestingly, neither the magnitude nor the direction of the transfer was affected by the variability at the task level, âshe said.
Professor Pratik Mutha, senior professor at IIT-Gn and Yadav’s research guide, said the study had implications for patients with stroke or paralysis who lost control on one side of the body. body. âThe conventional approach focuses more on immobile limbs by stimulating them. But you can’t train it a lot. But if we apply the lessons from the study, we can train the unaffected side and improve the rate of recovery, âhe said, adding that insight into how we learn these skills can also help. develop a strategy for rehabilitation programs for people with locomotor problems. .