Effects of handedness on tactile temporal order judgment

Neuropsychologia. 2004;42(14):1887-95. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2004.05.009.


We examined effects of handedness on the judgment of temporal order of successive taps delivered to both hands. When the subjects' arms were uncrossed, the temporal resolution (84% correct responses) of right-handed subjects (52 +/- 4 ms, n = 16) was significantly better than that of left-handed subjects (83 +/- 9 ms, n = 16). When their arms were crossed, both groups tended to invert their judgment to a similar extent at intervals as long as 200-300 ms. In the arms crossed condition, right handed subjects inverted their judgment more often in response to left-hand-first stimuli than to right-hand-first stimuli, whereas left-handed subjects did not show the same asymmetry. We infer that hemispheric lateralization, which is generally stronger in right- than in left-handed subjects, contributes to the relatively better temporal resolution of right-handed subjects in the uncrossed condition, as well as to the asymmetric effect of stimulation order in the crossed condition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology*
  • Male
  • Normal Distribution
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception
  • Touch / physiology*