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The assumption that cognitive processes are independent of handedness was questioned. Five experiments with left-handed and right-handed participants centered on investigating recognition memory for the orientation of heads. Their results provided consistent evidence of a general contralateral handedness effect: Left-facing heads are more likely to be remembered correctly by right-handed participants, whereas right-facing heads are more likely to be remembered correctly by left-handed participants. Motor imagery and hemispheric differences explanations were compared. The results supported the hypothesis that the effect is a consequence of differences between handedness groups in terms of specific patterns of underlying motor activation rather than in terms of more general differences in function between cerebral hemispheres. The possibility of a chiral psychology of cognition that takes note of a person's handedness is considered.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Publication Date





265 - 282