Hemispheric Specialization, Handedness, and Laterality

  • William H. Gaddes
  • Dorothy Edgell


Until recently it was thought, perhaps simplistically, that a right-handed person was necessarily left-hemisphere dominant for language, and similarly a left-handed person was right-hemisphere dominant for language. Now it is known, from neuropsychological researches over the last 40 years, that this is not so and that the whole question of the relation between handedness and hemispheric specialization is highly complex and variable within certain limits. Before we examine the relationship between cerebral function and handedness, however, let us look at these two behavioral processes separately.


Left Hemisphere Dichotic Listening Hemispheric Specialization Cerebral Dominance Language Dominance 
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Some References on Handedness Examinations and Inventories

  1. Bryden, M.P. Measuring handedness with questionnaires. Neuropsychologia, 1977, 15, 617–624.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bryden, M.P. & Steenhuis, R. The assessment of handedness in children. In Obrzut J.E. & Hynd G.W. (Eds.), Neuropsychological foundations of learning disabilities. San Diego: Academic Press, 1991, 411–436.Google Scholar
  3. Crovitz, H.F. & Zener, K.A. A group test for assessing hand-and eye-dominance. American Journal of Psychology, 1962, 75, 271–276.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Harris, A.J. Harris tests of lateral dominance: Manual of directions for administration and interpretation, 3rd ed. New York: Psychological Corporation, 1958.Google Scholar
  5. Oldfield, R.C. The assessment and analysis of handedness: The Edinburgh Inventory. Neuropsychologia, 1971, 9, 97–113.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Raczkowski, D., Kalat, J.W., & Nebes, R. Reliability and validity of some handedness questionnaire items. Neuropsychologia, 1974, 12, 43–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. White, K. & Ashton, R. Handedness assessment inventory. Neuropsychologia, 1976, 14, 261–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Footedness Laterality

  1. Footedness laterality measures have their own tested methods of measurement. See Vanden-Abeele, J. Comments on the functional asymmetries of the lower extremities. Cortex, 1980, 16, 325–329.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Gaddes
    • 1
  • Dorothy Edgell
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s HealthVictoriaCanada

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