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

Brain Cogn. 2005 Apr;57(3):219-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2004.02.020.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Maze Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Pedigree*
  • Problem Solving / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*