Social environment elicits lateralized navigational paths in two populations of typically developing children

Forrester, G.S., Crawley, M. and Palmer, C. 2014. Social environment elicits lateralized navigational paths in two populations of typically developing children. Brain and Cognition. 91, pp. 21-27. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2014.07.005

TitleSocial environment elicits lateralized navigational paths in two populations of typically developing children
AuthorsForrester, G.S., Crawley, M. and Palmer, C.
Abstract

The current study provides the first evidence of human lateralized navigation of a social space within a naturalistic environment. We employed a quantitative, observational approach and report on a detailed set of nearly 700 independent navigational routes from two separate child populations consisting of over 300 typically developing children, aged five to fourteen years. The navigational path was considered across the sagittal plane (left, right) around three distinct target types (peer, adult and object). Both child populations expressed a significant bias for choosing a rightward navigational path around a human tar- get (e.g. peer, adult) and no lateral preference for navigation around fixed, inanimate objects. A rightward navigational path provides an advantage for the left visual field and the right hemisphere, facilitating both the production and perception of social-emotion stimuli. The findings are consistent with evidence from studies of non-human animal species demonstrating that the social environment elicits predictable lateralized behavior, and support an early evolutionary delineation of functional processing by the two hemispheres.

KeywordsLaterality
Cerebral lateralization
Social environment
Children
JournalBrain and Cognition
Journal citation91, pp. 21-27
Year2014
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscriptBRCG-14-94R1-2.pdf
Publisher's versionForresterCrawleyPalmer2014.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2014.07.005
Web address (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027826261400116X
Publication dates
Published24 Aug 2014

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