Silvia will host a seminar by Chris McManus on 9th March, 1-2Pm, Seminar Room 1

Why are most people right-handed but some are left-handed?

Abstract: Most people are right-handed, but about one in ten is left-handed. Handedness also relates

to language asymmetry, most people talking with the left half of their brain.The biological origins of brain asymmetry are obscure, although handedness undoubtedly runs in families and seems to have a genetic component, with few obvious environmental influences. In this talk I will overview some of what we know about handedness, and its relation to other asymmetries such as visceral asymmetries (heart, lungs, etc). A separate, important and related question concerns why and how brains are asymmetric, and what are the mechanisms that maintain left-handedness in populations, perhaps due there being advantages to being left-handed.” 

Biography: Chris McManus is Professor of Psychology and Medical Education at University College London, and is the author of Right Hand, Left Hand, which in 2003 won the Aventis Prize (now the Royal Society Book Prize) for a popular science book. A doctor by training, as well as an experimental psychologist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and of Edinburgh. He also won an IgNobel Prize in 2002 for some research on an obscure area of lateralisation which he will not be talking about in this lecture.