Cognitive Processing

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 17–25 | Cite as

Lateralized pointing does not cause a cognitive bias

  • Ineke J. M. van der Ham
  • Jantina Brummelman
  • Marie Elise Aerts
  • Alyanne M. de Haan
  • H. Chris Dijkerman
Research Report


Lateralized pointing has been shown to cause not only a shift in visuo-motor midline, but also a shift in non-lateralized spatial attention. Non-lateralized cognitive consequences of lateralized pointing have been reported for local and global visuospatial processing. Here, we evaluate these findings and examine this effect for categorical and coordinate spatial relation processing, for which the attentional processes are thought to be highly similar to local and global visuospatial processing, respectively. Participants performed a commonly used working memory task to assess categorical and coordinate spatial relation processing. Lateralized pointing with either the left or the right hand, to either the left or the right side was introduced as a manipulation, as well as a new control condition without any pointing. Performance on the spatial relation task was measured before and after pointing. The results suggest that non-lateralized consequences of lateralized pointing cannot be generalized to other cognitive tasks relying on attentional processing. Further examination of lateralized pointing is recommended before drawing further conclusions concerning its impact on non-lateralized cognition.


Lateralized pointing Attention Spatial relations Visuospatial perception 



The authors wish to thank Daniëlle Juffermans for her help in collecting the data. CD was supported by a VICI grant by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, Grant No. 453.10.003). IH was supported by a VENI grant by NWO (Grant No. 451.12.004).


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ineke J. M. van der Ham
    • 1
  • Jantina Brummelman
    • 2
  • Marie Elise Aerts
    • 2
  • Alyanne M. de Haan
    • 2
  • H. Chris Dijkerman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health, Medical, and NeuropsychologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Experimental PsychologyHelmholtz Institute Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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