The leading hand in bimanual activities – A search for more valid handedness items
Olsson, Bo; Kirchengast, Sylvia
Summary The aim of this pilot study is to test a new approach to handedness assessment based on the concept of the leading hand. A well-established graphomotor performance test of handedness (H-D-T) and a new test according on the concept of the leading hand were undertaken by 41 Viennese schoolchildren between 6 and 8 years of age. The new test is based on in vivo observations of bimanual activities. In detail the test battery consisted of 8 fine motor leading hand items. Participants had to open and close four small objects (one tube, three small bottles) in order to observe twisting movements and four small objects (2 matchboxes, 2 small brushes) in order to observe back-and-forth movements. It turned out that the leading hand does not correlate with the hand dominance in a graphomotor test to the degree that the handedness in unimanual items has been found to do and that right leading hand scores in bimanual items are encountered significantly less often than right hand scores in a graphomotor test. The findings of the present study suggest that tests of the leading hand in vivo may contribute to a higher validity of the assessment of handedness in examinations of the lateralization of higher cortical functions.