Handedness and Script Directionality in Relation to Graphic Production, Perception, and Aesthetic Preference of Visual Stimuli
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This study examined the influence of handedness and reading/writing direction on the facing and sequencing of drawn objects and/or scenes and on orientation preference in viewing figures and photographing objects. Right- and left-handed adults who were either native readers of English or of Arabic drew 15 objects/scenes with their dominant hand and two objects also with their non-dominant hand. The objects differed in animacy, graspability, and implied motion. All participants also completed an ambiguous figure detection task in which one of the embedded figures faced leftward and the other faced rightward. In addition, right- and left-handed English readers photographed six objects in what they considered the most aesthetically pleasing orientation. A significant effect of script directionality was observed in scene depiction, with left-to-right readers depicting objects in a scene along a left-to-right axis and rightto- left readers showing the converse pattern. Ambiguous figure detection showed an overall advantage for the left-facing figure. Whereas the preferred orientation for photographing objects with implied motion was to orient them facing rightward; graspable objects were oriented differently depending on handedness. Asymmetries in orientation of drawn objects also varied by handedness. Our research challenges a laterality-based account traditionally invoked to explain directional trends in drawing and aesthetic preference and offers support for alternative accounts that emphasize biomechanical, motor imagery, and cultural factors.
Rhodes, Rebecca E (2010). Handedness and Script Directionality in Relation to Graphic Production, Perception, and Aesthetic Preference of Visual Stimuli. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from