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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Mar;15(3):193-201. doi: 10.1038/nrn3679. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

On the other hand: including left-handers in cognitive neuroscience and neurogenetics.

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Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, 6525 EN Nijmegen, The Netherlands.Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, 6525 XD Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Department of Experimental Psychology, Ghent University, Ghent, 9000, Belgium.


Left-handers are often excluded from study cohorts in neuroscience and neurogenetics in order to reduce variance in the data. However, recent investigations have shown that the inclusion or targeted recruitment of left-handers can be informative in studies on a range of topics, such as cerebral lateralization and the genetic underpinning of asymmetrical brain development. Left-handed individuals represent a substantial portion of the human population and therefore left-handedness falls within the normal range of human diversity; thus, it is important to account for this variation in our understanding of brain functioning. We call for neuroscientists and neurogeneticists to recognize the potential of studying this often-discarded group of research subjects.

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