Attentional asymmetries - cause or consequence of human right handedness?

Gavin Buckingham, David P. Carey

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

    Abstract

    It is well established that the vast majority of the population favors their right hand when performing complex manual tasks. However, the developmental and evolutionary underpinnings of human manual asymmetries remain contentious. One often overlooked suggestion is that right handedness may stem from an asymmetrical bias in attention, with the right hand being allocated more attentional resources during bimanual tasks than the left hand (Peters, 1981). This review examines the evidence for attentional asymmetries during a variety of bimanual tasks, and critically evaluates the explanatory power of this hypothesis for explaining the depth and breadth of individual- and population-level manual asymmetries. We conclude that, while the attentional bias hypothesis is well-supported in adults, it requires further validation from a developmental perspective to explain the full breadth of adult manual laterality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1587
    Number of pages5
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Volume5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2015

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    Functional Laterality
    Hand
    Population

    Keywords

    • handedness
    • laterality development
    • bimanual coordination
    • attention
    • motor control
    • laterality of motor control
    • BIMANUAL COORDINATION DYNAMICS
    • GOAL-DIRECTED MOVEMENTS
    • MANUAL ASYMMETRIES
    • MOTOR ATTENTION
    • HAND MOVEMENTS
    • OPTIC ATAXIA
    • EYE
    • BIASES
    • GAZE
    • TARGET

    Cite this

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    title = "Attentional asymmetries - cause or consequence of human right handedness?",
    abstract = "It is well established that the vast majority of the population favors their right hand when performing complex manual tasks. However, the developmental and evolutionary underpinnings of human manual asymmetries remain contentious. One often overlooked suggestion is that right handedness may stem from an asymmetrical bias in attention, with the right hand being allocated more attentional resources during bimanual tasks than the left hand (Peters, 1981). This review examines the evidence for attentional asymmetries during a variety of bimanual tasks, and critically evaluates the explanatory power of this hypothesis for explaining the depth and breadth of individual- and population-level manual asymmetries. We conclude that, while the attentional bias hypothesis is well-supported in adults, it requires further validation from a developmental perspective to explain the full breadth of adult manual laterality.",
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    Attentional asymmetries - cause or consequence of human right handedness? / Buckingham, Gavin; Carey, David P.

    In: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 5, 1587, 13.01.2015.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Attentional asymmetries - cause or consequence of human right handedness?

    AU - Buckingham, Gavin

    AU - Carey, David P.

    PY - 2015/1/13

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    N2 - It is well established that the vast majority of the population favors their right hand when performing complex manual tasks. However, the developmental and evolutionary underpinnings of human manual asymmetries remain contentious. One often overlooked suggestion is that right handedness may stem from an asymmetrical bias in attention, with the right hand being allocated more attentional resources during bimanual tasks than the left hand (Peters, 1981). This review examines the evidence for attentional asymmetries during a variety of bimanual tasks, and critically evaluates the explanatory power of this hypothesis for explaining the depth and breadth of individual- and population-level manual asymmetries. We conclude that, while the attentional bias hypothesis is well-supported in adults, it requires further validation from a developmental perspective to explain the full breadth of adult manual laterality.

    AB - It is well established that the vast majority of the population favors their right hand when performing complex manual tasks. However, the developmental and evolutionary underpinnings of human manual asymmetries remain contentious. One often overlooked suggestion is that right handedness may stem from an asymmetrical bias in attention, with the right hand being allocated more attentional resources during bimanual tasks than the left hand (Peters, 1981). This review examines the evidence for attentional asymmetries during a variety of bimanual tasks, and critically evaluates the explanatory power of this hypothesis for explaining the depth and breadth of individual- and population-level manual asymmetries. We conclude that, while the attentional bias hypothesis is well-supported in adults, it requires further validation from a developmental perspective to explain the full breadth of adult manual laterality.

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    KW - laterality development

    KW - bimanual coordination

    KW - attention

    KW - motor control

    KW - laterality of motor control

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    KW - GOAL-DIRECTED MOVEMENTS

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    KW - MOTOR ATTENTION

    KW - HAND MOVEMENTS

    KW - OPTIC ATAXIA

    KW - EYE

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    KW - GAZE

    KW - TARGET

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