Subject variables and cerebral organization for language

Cortex. 1980 Aug;16(2):239-54. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(80)80060-8.


The present study investigated the usefulness of a variety of subject variables that have been proposed as having predictive value for determining cerebral organization for language. To accomplish this, a total of 373 subjects (117 left-handers and 256 right-handers) were given 240 trials of a consonant-vowel dichotic listening task to assess direction and degree of language lateralization. Each subject was also classified on the basis of eight subject variables (handedness, strength of handedness, familial sinistrality, writing hand posture, sex, sighting dominance, preferred footedness, and overall laterality). The results of the study indicated that left hemisphere language processing is very pervasive and that most of the subject variables examined were not very useful predictors of language lateralization. In addition, surprisingly, footedness and not handedness was the single best predictor of cerebral organization for language.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Dichotic Listening Tests
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Functional Laterality
  • Handwriting
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Posture
  • Sex Factors