Getting a Grip on Memory: Unilateral Hand Clenching Alters Episodic Recall
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING CENTER MA
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Unilateral hand clenching increases neuronal activity in the frontal lobe of the contralateral hemisphere. Such hand clenching is also associated with increased experiencing of a given hemisphere s mode of processing. Together, these findings suggest that unilateral hand clenching can be used to test hypotheses concerning the specializations of the cerebral hemispheres during memory encoding and retrieval. We investigated this possibility by testing effects of unilateral hand clenching on episodic memory. The hemispheric EncodingRetrieval Asymmetry HERA model proposes left prefrontal regions are associated with encoding, and right prefrontal regions with retrieval, of episodic memories. It was hypothesized that right hand clenching left hemisphere activation pre-encoding, and left hand clenching right hemisphere activation pre-recall, would result in superior memory. Results supported the HERA model. Also supported was that simple unilateral hand clenching can be used as a means by which the functional specializations of the cerebral hemispheres can be investigated in intact humans.
- Anatomy and Physiology