Normal Variation in Human Brain Organization: Relation to Handedness, Sex and Cognitive Abilities

  • Richard A. Harshman
  • Elizabeth Hampson
Part of the Wenner-Gren Center International Symposium Series book series (WGCISS, volume 47)


If the brains of some left handers are organized differently from the brains of right handers, might not their patterns of cognitive abilities also be different? While this seems plausible, it has been surprisingly difficult to demonstrate; previous findings have been inconsistent and often contradictory. Nonetheless, we will present evidence that substantial handedness-related cognitive differences do exist, and that previous inconsistencies can be resolved by taking other characteristics of the individual into account. The most interesting implications of this evidence go beyond the question of mere handedness effects. It turns out that we may have been operating under overly restrictive assumptions about the functional structure of the “normal” brain.


Interaction Pattern Spatial Ability Brain Organization Reasoning Ability Principal Component Score 
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© The Wenner-Gren Center 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Harshman
  • Elizabeth Hampson

There are no affiliations available

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