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Laterality. 2004 Jan;9(1):19-34.

Gödel, Escher, and degree of handedness: differences in interhemispheric interaction predict differences in understanding self-reference.

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Department of Psychology, Slippery Rock University, PA 16057, USA.


Ramachandran (1995) theorised that the left hemisphere (LH) is specialised for making a single and consistent interpretation of the self and the world, whereas the right hemisphere (RH) is responsible for monitoring anomalies in reference to these interpretations. If the anomalous information reaches a threshold, it interacts with the LH to update these interpretations or beliefs. Because mixed handers may have greater degrees of interhemispheric interaction compared to strong handers, they may have a lower threshold for updating beliefs. Two previous studies found this to be the case (Niebauer, Aselage, & Schutte, 2002a; Niebauer, Christman, & Reid, 2002b). Because monitoring one's beliefs may involve metacognitive processes, i.e., cognitions about cognitions, this model was extended to help explain individual differences in understanding self-referential concepts. In the first two studies, mixed-handed participants displayed a greater understanding of self-reference using a conceptual description of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. In a third study, mixed-handed participants displayed greater appreciation for self-referential works of M. C. Escher. Implications for a neuropsychological model of metacognition are discussed.

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