Handedness and Lateralization

  • Polly Henninger
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


To accurately assess the nature and extent of brain injury, is it important to know the patient’s handedness? Evidence from both clinical and normal populations indicates that the organization of brain functions differs for right- and left-handers. In general, left-handers are less lateralized for linguistic, visuospatial, and other cognitive and affective processes, and are likely to show bilateral representation of cognitive functions. Lack of standardization in the measurement of handedness and the influence of other variables such as familial sinistrality, sex, and reasoning ability on brain organization make it difficult to specify for any particular individual. However, awareness of the identified modifiers of brain organization and knowledge of findings on handedness relating to lateralized functions can assist the neuropsychologist in making more accurate diagnoses and inferences. This chapter will present current research findings on laterality and handedness and apply them to issues of clinical concern.


Left Hemisphere Spatial Ability Hand Preference Dichotic Listening Hemispheric Specialization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Polly Henninger
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biology 156-29California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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