Handedness and Brain Asymmetry: The Right Shift Theory

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Medical - 396 pages
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Brain asymmetry for speech is moderately related to handedness but what are the rules?
Are symmetries for hand and brain associated with characteristics such as intelligence, motor skill, spatial reasoning or skill at sports?
In this follow up to the influential Left, Right Hand and Brain (1985) Marian Annett draws on a working lifetime of research to help provide answers to crucial questions. Central to her argument is the Right Shift Theory - her original and innovative contribution to the field that seeks to explain the relationships between left-and right-handedness and left-and right-brain specialisation. The theory proposes that handedness in humans and our non-human primate relations depends on chance but that chance is weighted towards right-handedness in most people by an agent of right-hemisphere disadvantage. It argues for the existence of a single gene for right shift (RS+) that evolved in humans to aid the growth of speech in the left hemisphere of the brain.
The Right Shift Theory has possible implications for a wide range of questions about human abilities and disabilities, including verbal and non verbal intelligence, educational progress and dyslexia, spatial reasoning, sporting skills and mental illness. It continues to be at the cutting edge of research, solving problems and generating new avenues of investigation - most recently the surprising idea that a mutant RS+ gene might be involved in the causes of schizophrenia and autism.
Handedness and Brain Asymmetry will make fascinating reading for students and researchers in psychology and neurology, educationalists, and anyone with a keen interest in why people have different talents and weaknesses.
 

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Contents

The puzzle of handedness and cerebral speech
3
Discrete types or continuous
23
Chance plus
48
A right shift factor for left cerebral dominance
72
The single gene theory of right shift
93
Handedness with age sex and time
109
A single gene with variable expression for genotype
122
Other asymmetries of brain and behaviour
146
The costs
237
The theory of an agnosic
261
Independent tests and challenges
283
Alternative theories or variations on a theme?
294
What how and why?
313
Notes on the assessment of preferences with
329
Genotypes of lefthanders righthanders per 1000
335
Thresholds of the RL continuum measured from
339

Predicting associations between asymmetries
167
A genetic balanced polymorphism with heterozygote
183
Heterozygote advantage
203
What are the disadvantages of right shift? Spatial
217
An example of the genetic calculations for
346
Author index
381
Subject index
392
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