Attentional asymmetries - cause or consequence of human right handedness?
Frontiers in Psychology
Copyright © 2015 Buckingham and Carey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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.
This is the final version of the article. It first appeared from Frontiers Media via http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01587
Vol. 5, article 1587
Place of publication