Laterality cards




Scan-Mirror ™ Laterality Cards

Enclosed are 25 photos of the right and left hands (totaling 50 cards). These cards can be used as a therapeutic tool when testing and treating laterality problems.

Laterality cards – Background and use:

When the brain processes visual input from a picture illustrating a known object, such as a hand, or when observing a known movement; the brain will be alerted that the person should get ready to duplicate this movement.

The brain has a large number of mirror neurons. Mirror Neurons are cells in the brain that process information related to, e.g. empathy, self-awareness, and language/speech. Mirror neurons allow us to recognize movements and copy them. Mirror Neurons are constantly working to develop and improve our understanding of our surroundings, both at the physical level, but also at the psychological, mental, and emotional levels. Our mirror neurons are activated/engaged when a person sees someone moving or someone who is prepared or intends to perform an action/movement through posture. Our mirror neurons give us a continual understanding of what we see and provide us with an opportunity to interact with others at a nonverbal level. Furthermore, Mirror Neurons can cause us, subconsciously and without volition, to copy others peoples movement (e.g. one person gets the other person to yawn).

If you have a painful limb, the brain will at the subconscious level try to limit movement to avoid further pain in the limb. This limitation can be observed when a person is asked to determine whether an image is displaying either a right or left limb. The extremity with the pain is less likely to be readily recognized, i.e. the recognition will most likely be slower than the limb without pain.

Scan-Mirror ™ Laterality Cards are displaying hands in different positions. When showing a pain-afflicted person these cards, the brain will slowly realize that seeing/observing these pictures are not causing any pain. This allows the person to start the process of slowly mimicking /replicating the movements, first at the psychological and later at the physical level.


Diagnoses that could benefit from Laterality testing and training:

All diagnoses, where laterality is affected, can benefit from training with Scan-Mirror ™ laterality cards. However, it may be particularly helpful to persons with chronic pain (phantom pain), persons with CRPS and people who have suffered a stroke.

Literature references:

Birgitta Rosen and Goran Lundborg: "Training with a mirror in rehabilitation of the hand" Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery, April 2005, vol 39, no. 2, pp. 104-108 (5).

Maclver, K: Phantom limb pain, cortical reorganization and the Therapeutic Effect of mental imagery; Brain (2008) 131 2181-2191