Measurement of spontaneous rotational movement (circling) in normal children.
An asymmetry of basal ganglia dopaminergic function has been demonstrated in rats and related to both spontaneous and drug-induced rotation. An electronic device that measures the same kind of rotational movements in humans has been developed, and we have utilized this "rotometer" to study spontaneous rotational movement in prepubertal children. There was no significant difference between boys and girls in their average rate of rotation; however, left hemisphere-dominant boys were stronger rotators than left hemisphere-dominant girls. Both boys and girls made significantly more full turns to the left than to the right. These findings did not vary with age. Our observations are strikingly different from those obtained in previous studies of normal adults, in which women were stronger rotators than men, left hemisphere-dominant women turned to the left, and left hemisphere-dominant men rotated to the right. This study suggests that maturational changes in rotational behavior must occur, perhaps progressing to the adult pattern during puberty. The rotometer used in this study may provide useful information regarding the status of the basal ganglia in children with specific neurobehavioral conditions such as attention deficit disorder and Tourette's syndrome.
Gospe, SM; Mora, BJ; Glick, SD
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