Familial handedness and its relation to spatial ability following strategy instructions

M. Beth Casey, Mary M. Brabeck, Larry H. Ludlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compared subjects from right-handed families with subjects from nonrighthanded families in their ability to solve a mental-rotation task when instructed to use one of two different spatial strategies. All subjects completed a pretest Vandenberg. Next, one of the following procedures was presented prior to administering the Vandenberg posttest: Group 1 was given mental-rotation instructions, Group 2 was given spatial-orientation instructions, and Group 3 (control group) was given no special directions. For familial right-handers, no condition effects were found. In contrast, familial nonright-handers benefited significantly from mental-rotation instructions when compared both to their own control group and to familial right-handed subjects given the same instructions. However, with orientation instructions, the familial nonright-handers showed significantly less posttest improventnt than their control group. These results suggests familial non-rright-handers may be stronger in ability to use one spatial strategy, transformation of mental images, and weaker on a second, reorientation in relation to left-right cues. The educational and research implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-406
Number of pages18
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Familial handedness and its relation to spatial ability following strategy instructions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this