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Neuropsychologia. 1994 Aug;32(8):991-9.

A behavioral measure of hand preference as opposed to hand skill.

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University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.


Twenty-five self-professed left-handers and 21 self-professed right-handers were given a variety of performance tests to assess handedness, along with a preference inventory and a dichotic listening test of language lateralization. The performance tests included the Annett pegboard task, that Tapley and Bryden dot-filling tasks, and two procedures, the long pegboard and long dots tasks, that were intended to assess the point in space at which a particular unimanual movement became sufficiently awkward for one to shift to the other hand. All four of these performance tests differentiated between left-handers and right-handers, although the differences between handedness groups were somewhat larger when handedness was defined in terms of the preference inventory rather than on the basis of self-report. When the difference between preferred and non-preferred hands was examined, the best predictor of hand preference was the long pegboard task. Such a finding is consistent with the view that the long pegboard provides a behavioral measure of hand preference, while the pegs and dots tasks are more closely linked to specific skills. In addition, the correlations between individual preference items and the dichotic right-ear advantage suggest that language lateralization is related to rather different handedness measures than those usually used to define handedness. This finding would suggest that handedness and language lateralization are determined by somewhat different mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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