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Hand preferences in preschool children: Reaching, pointing and symbolic gestures

Abstract : Manual asymmetries emerge very early in development and several researchers have reported a significant right-hand bias in toddlers although this bias fluctuates depending on the nature of the activity being performed. However, little is known about the further development of asymmetries in preschoolers. In this study, patterns of hand preference were assessed in 50 children aged 3–5 years for different activities, including reaching movements, pointing gestures and symbolic gestures. Contrary to what has been reported in children before 3 years of age, we did not observe any difference in the mean handedness indices obtained in each task. Moreover, the asymmetry of reaching was found to correlate with that of pointing gestures, but not with that of symbolic gestures. In relation to the results reported in infants and adults, this study may help deciphering the mechanisms controlling the development of handedness by providing measures of manual asymmetries in an age range that has been so far rather neglected.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 14, 2020 - 3:19:28 PM
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Hélène Cochet, Laurie Centelles, Marianne Jover, Suzy Plachta, Jacques Vauclair. Hand preferences in preschool children: Reaching, pointing and symbolic gestures. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, Taylor and Francis, 2015, 20 (4), pp.501 - 516. ⟨10.1080/1357650X.2015.1007057⟩. ⟨hal-01792663⟩

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