evolution of laterality. was Re: Gender and Cognitive Style (quick supposed correction)

Timothy Bates (tbates@bunyip.bhs.mq.edu.au)
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 10:38:24 +1100

Hi Peter et al.,

peter wrote
>>>This hypothesis originates with Dr. Bill Calvin who suggests that the
>>>reason a mother would want to hold a baby on the left side is because
>>>thatis where the heart is most audible.
>Tim wrote:
>> I think it actually owes to Alan Previc.
peter asked
>Do you have a referrence on this? Calvin explicitly claims this hypothesis
>as his own, both in his book and in person. I talked with him at the
>Society for Neuroscience conference in New Orleans a year ago.

Just going from memory re the content of this paper, but this is, I believe, the source. Of course it may data back even further?

Previc FH.(1991) A general theory concerning the prenatal origins of cerebral lateralisation in humans. Psychological Review.98:299-334.

I don't believe it. There seems to be a consensus, however, that the origins of which side got chosen to be the left/language/generative grammar side are probably incidental to _some_ artifact of this nature. Doesn't really matter too much, I suspect. The big thing is that the world is constructed as generative objects on the left and as synthetic spatial maps on the right.


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