Handedness and Individual Differences

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Left-handers are thought to possess a number of special cognitive abilities.

Left-handers are thought to possess a number of special cognitive abilities. Some of these abilities are good, some bad. Whether or not these differences in cognitive ability exist often goes to the heart of genetic models, which attempt to explain why left handedness exists. We have collected data from a number of sources to examine the relationship between handedness and factors such as cognitive ability and schizotypy. In general we find that left- and mixed-handers do worse overall. We also find that the lower levels of cognitive ability are not related to birth stress, which is one putative cause of left-handedness.

Researchers

Mike Nicholls 

Publications

Chapman, H. L., Grimshaw, G. M., & Nicholls, M. E. R. (in press). Going beyond students: An association between mixed-hand preference and schizotypy subscales in a general population. Psychiatry Research.

Nicholls, M. E. R., Chapman, H .L., Loetscher, T., & Grimshaw, G. (2010). The relationship between hand preference, hand performance and general cognitive ability. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society16, 585-592.

Johnston, D., Nicholls, M. E. R., Shaw, M., & Shields, M. (2009). Nature’s experiment? Handedness and early childhood development.Demography46, 281-301.

Nicholls, M. E. R., Orr, C. A., & Lindell, A. K. (2005). Magical ideation and its relation to lateral preference. Laterality, 10, 503-515.