A magnet inserted into the brain can change a right-handed person to becoming a leftie!
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to the posterior parietal cortex region of the brain in 33 right-handed volunteers and found that stimulating the left side spurred an increase in their use of the left hand.
The parietal cortex plays a key role in processing spatial relationships and planning movement, and by stimulating it the left hemisphere motor skills are disrupted.
The study's findings show that TMS can manipulate the brain to change plans for which hand to use, paving the way for clinical advances in the rehabilitation of victims of stroke and other brain injuries.
"By understanding this process, we hope to be able to develop methods to overcome learned limb disuse," said Richard Ivry.
"Alien hand syndrome," a neurological disorder in which victims report the involuntary use of their hands, inspired researchers to investigate whether the brain initiates several action plans, setting in motion a competitive process before arriving at a decision.
The study is published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.