When left means right: an explanation of the left cradling bias in terms of right hemisphere specializations

Victoria J. Bourne, Brenda K. Todd

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Previous research has indicated that 70–85% of women and girls show a bias to hold infants, or dolls, to the left side of their body. This bias is not matched in males (e.g. deChateau, Holmberg & Winberg, 1978; Todd, 1995). This study tests an explanation of cradling preferences in terms of hemispheric specialization for the perception of facial emotional expression. Thirty-two right-handed participants were given a behavioural test of lateralization and a cradling task. Females, but not males, who cradled a doll on the left side were found to have significantly higher laterality quotients than right cradlers. Results indicate that women cradle on the side of the body that is contralateral to the hemisphere dominant for face and emotion processing and suggest a possible explanation of gender differences in the incidence of cradling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-24
    Number of pages6
    JournalDevelopmental Science
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

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