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Brain Cogn. 2004 Dec;56(3):332-43.

Sex differences in spatial ability: a lateralization of function approach.

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Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA, United States.


The current study was designed to examine whether the extent of the male advantage in performance on a spatial task was determined by the extent to which the task was right-hemisphere dependent. Participants included 108 right-handed men and women who completed the mental rotation, waterlevel, and paperfolding tasks, all of which were presented bilaterally. The results partially supported the hypothesis. On the mental rotation task, men showed a right-hemisphere advantage, whereas women showed no hemispheric differences; however, no overall sex differences were observed. On the waterlevel task, men outperformed women, and both men and women showed a right-hemisphere advantage. On the paperfolding task, no sex or hemispheric differences were observed. Although the findings of the current study were mixed, the study provides a framework for examining sex differences across different types of spatial ability.

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