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Haptic memory and handedness in 2-month-old infants

Examined the robustness of infant haptic memory, asymmetry between hands, and sex differences in haptic memory in infancy. 48 males and 48 females (2 months old) were habituated haptically to an object with their right and left hand out of the field of view. Haptic memory was then tested under three conditions: after haptic interference, after a 30-second delay, or after no delay. The results show that haptic habituation occurred for both hands. The female Ss needed more time to habituate with their left hand than with their right hand, and they habituated more slowly than the male Ss did. Discrimination was also found in both hands and in both sexes. Haptic delayed recognition memory was found in males mainly after a short delay and under certain conditions after interference. Recognition memory was found after interference only with the left hand in females. This result seemed to depend on the information processing speed. A sex difference in memory performance was clearly observed. In addition, the left hand retained better information on object shape than did the right hand for both the sexes. Asymmetries in infancy are also discussed in connection with the difference in brain maturation rate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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