Women who excel on a spatial task: Proposed genetic and environmental factors

M. Beth Casey, Mary M. Brabeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A "bent twig" model which incorporates Annett's genetic handedness theory with an environmental component predicted characteristics of college women likely to excel on a mental rotation task. Those likely to have the necessary combination of genetic potential and prior experiences are right-handed women with non-right-handed relatives who rate themselves high in spatial experiences. This subgroup significantly outperformed all other groups of right-handed women on the Vandenberg Mental Rotation Test. This study provides support for the view that family handedness and spatial experiences are important factors influencing mental rotation ability in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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