Relationships between hand laterality and verbal and spatial skills in 436 healthy adults balanced for handedness

E. Mellet, G. Jobard, L. Zago, F. Crivello, L. Petit, M. Joliot, B. Mazoyer, N. Tzourio-Mazoyer
Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition. 2013-06-07; 19(4): 383-404
DOI: 10.1080/1357650X.2013.796965

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1. Laterality. 2014;19(4):383-404. doi: 10.1080/1357650X.2013.796965. Epub 2013 Jun
7.

Relationships between hand laterality and verbal and spatial skills in 436
healthy adults balanced for handedness.

Mellet E(1), Jobard G, Zago L, Crivello F, Petit L, Joliot M, Mazoyer B,
Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)a Univ. Bordeaux , GIN, UMR 5296, F-33000 Bordeaux , France.

The relationship between manual laterality and cognitive skills remains highly
controversial. Some studies have reported that strongly lateralised participants
had higher cognitive performance in verbal and visuo-spatial domains compared to
non-lateralised participants; however, others found the opposite. Moreover, some
have suggested that familial sinistrality and sex might interact with individual
laterality factors to alter cognitive skills. The present study addressed these
issues in 237 right-handed and 199 left-handed individuals. Performance tests
covered various aspects of verbal and spatial cognition. A principal component
analysis yielded two verbal and one spatial factor scores. Participant laterality
assessments included handedness, manual preference strength, asymmetry of motor
performance, and familial sinistrality. Age, sex, education level, and brain
volume were also considered. No effect of handedness was found, but the mean
factor scores in verbal and spatial domains increased with right asymmetry in
motor performance. Performance was reduced in participants with a familial
history of left-handedness combined with a non-maximal preference strength in the
dominant hand. These results elucidated some discrepancies among previous
findings in laterality factors and cognitive skills. Laterality factors had small
effects compared to the adverse effects of age for spatial cognition and verbal
memory, the positive effects of education for all three domains, and the effect
of sex for spatial cognition.

DOI: 10.1080/1357650X.2013.796965
PMID: 23745714 [Indexed for MEDLINE]


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus