Document Detail

Handedness in the human fetus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1775228     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The developmental origins of behavioural asymmetries, in particular handedness, have aroused considerable interest and debate. Until now such behavioural asymmetries have only been reported after birth. Here we report the existence of handedness before birth, expressed in terms of thumb-sucking by the fetus. Ultrasound observations of fetuses from 15 weeks to term revealed a marked bias for sucking the thumb of the right hand. This preference appears to be maintained throughout pregnancy, is unrelated to fetal position in utero but correlates with head position preference in the supine newborn. The findings indicate that handedness is present prior to birth and the implications of this for the development of laterality are discussed.
P G Hepper; S Shahidullah; R White
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuropsychologia     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0028-3932     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuropsychologia     Publication Date:  1991  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-02-28     Completed Date:  1992-02-28     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0020713     Medline TA:  Neuropsychologia     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1107-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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MeSH Terms
Fetus / physiology*
Fingersucking / psychology*
Functional Laterality / physiology*
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Labor Presentation
Reference Values

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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