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Different laterality indexes are poorly correlated with one another but consistently show the tendency of males and females to be more left- and right- lateralised, respectively

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Abstract

Handedness is assessed primarily as a binary trait on the basis of the preferred hand for writing. At population level, about 90% people prefer using the right. Handedness can also be assessed as a continuous trait with laterality indexes, but these are not time and cost effective, and are not routinely collected. Here, we assessed the relationship of writing hand preference with four laterality indexes derived from measures of dexterity (pegboard task, marking squares and sorting matches) and strength (grip strength) available in a range of N = 6664-8069 children from the ALSPAC cohort. Although all indexes identified a higher proportion of individuals performing better with their right hand, they showed low correlation with each other (0.08-0.3). Analysis of sex effects on the laterality indexes showed that males and females tend to be, on all measures, more right- and the left-lateralised, respectively. Males also had a higher tendency to be poorly lateralised. This study shows that different handedness measures tap into different dimensions of laterality and cannot be used interchangeably. The similar trends for males and females observed across indexes suggest that sex effects should be taken into account in handedness and laterality studies.
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalPsyArXiv
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2019

    Research areas

  • Handedness, Laterality, Hand skills, Behaviour, Sex effect, ALSPAC

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