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Brain Cogn. 2005 Apr;57(3):219-21.

Real-life spatial skills, handedness, and family history of handedness.

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Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montreal, Que., Canada H3W 1W5.


According to , pronounced left hemisphere lateralization for language abilities in women, as in female absolute right-handers, limits their right hemisphere capacity and spatial abilities. This study examines the degree of handedness and the family history of non-right-handedness with respect to real-life spatial abilities in women. Twenty-four women had, first, to learn a new route and, second, to orient themselves within a labyrinth. In the former task, the number of errors and completion time were evaluated; in the latter task, degree of error for orienting was recorded. The results show that, contrary to Annett's prediction, right-handers with and without a family history of non-right-handedness did not differ on these measures. In addition, and unexpectedly, absolute right-handers were found to surpass non-absolute ones in the spatial orientation task. These findings do not support Annett's hypothesis and are discussed in relation to functional cerebral organization.

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