Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The accuracy with which a person recalls the orientation of a human figure or head has been shown to depend systematically on the person's handedness. This study investigated whether memory for the orientation of an inanimate object displays a similar effect. In contrast to previous work investigating memory for depictions encountered over many years, the present work focused on memory for a unique event that engaged considerable attention over a relatively brief period - Comet Hale-Bopp. The results showed that although right-handed and left-handed individuals did not differ in their memory for semantic information concerning the comet, they did differ in their memory for its orientation. Right-handed people were significantly more likely than left-handed people both to recall and to recognize the comet as facing to the left. The results suggest that memory performance may be influenced by patterns of underlying cerebral motor activation.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychological Science

Publication Date





267 - 270