Hand Preference and Hand Ability
Evidence from studies in Haptic Cognition
Miriam Ittyerah | Institute of Communicative and Cognitive Neuroscience, India
ISBN 9789027204592 | EUR 99.00
| USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027271648 | EUR 99.00
| USD 149.00
This volume adds new dimension and organization to the literature of touch and the hand, covering a diversity of topics surrounding the perception and cognition of touch in relation to the hand. No animal species compare to humans with regard to the haptic (or touch) sense, so unlike visual or auditory cognition, we know little about such haptic cognition. We do know that motor skills play a major role in haptics, but senses like vision do not determine hand preference or hand ability. It seems also that the potential ability to perform a task may be present in both hands and evidence indicates that the hand used to perform tactile tasks in blind or in sighted conditions is independent of one’s hand preference. This book will be useful for those in education and robotics and can serve as a general text focusing on touch and developmental psychology.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Hand Preferences and Hand Ability
represents a scholarly and comprehensive overview of theories and data concerning a variety of aspects related to the versatile human hand. The author takes the reader on a fascinating tour along the development of manual dexterity, the evolution of lateralization and the role vision plays in these processes. With her extensive experience in this field, Ittyerah is an expert very well qualified to write such a book. Many of the examples illustrating experiments are derived from her own research. References to the Indian cultural heritage are nicely interwoven in the discussion of the hand abilities of skilled handicraft workers and artisans, such as the puppeteers of the Pavakathakali and the refined hand movements in a classical Indian dance like the Bharathanatyam. These interesting and enjoyable descriptions clearly show the hand of the author.
In summary, if you want to learn more about preference and consistency of handedness, development of hand abilities, tactile performance of blind and sighted observers, haptic cognition and many more human hand-related topics, this is the book for you!
Astrid M.L. Kappers, VU University Amsterdam
“This unusually wide-ranging book will be useful to researchers and teachers in many fields of perception and cognition. The intriguing finding that orangutans prefer to groom with the left hand, is only an instance in discussing evolutionary advantages of vertebrate lateralization. Neuropsychological evidence on how areas in the left and right cerebral hemispheres, associated, respectively with language and non-verbal spatial cognition, relate to advantages for the contra-lateral hand, is here considered also with respect to touch and movement. Miriam Ittyerah's own extensive research found that blind people without visual experience show the same proportions of right hand preferences and laterality as sighted populations.
Ittyerah conveys the importance of the hands and fingers for perceptual information from touch and movement for cognitive, including spatial tasks, rather than functioning solely in response to vision, or requiring vision to function at all. Differences in the developmental course of haptic, visual and multimodal perception and integration provide key evidence that hand laterality does not necessarily predict hand skill, as is often supposed. More evidence than can be cited here shows the efficacy of learning and experience in producing equally skilled and complementary performance by the two hands. The extensive bibliography further attests the value of the work.”
Susanna Millar, University of Oxford
“In its five chapters, Hand Preference and Hand Ability provides an extensive review of functional properties of the human hand in tactile perception and tactile cognition, dealing with such topics as the relation of tactile perception to motor activity, the development of hand ability, tactile perception in sighted and blind individuals, and – an important theme of the book – the functions of lateralization (handedness).”
Lawrence E Marks, John B Pierce Laboratory, Yale University, USA