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A number of previous studies have demonstrated systematic misremembering of the direction in which the Queen's head faces on British coins. Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether this phenomenon is affected by a person's handedness. In both experiments, right-handed and left-handed participants were found to differ significantly in their verbal responses, with recall performance significantly worse than chance for right-handed but not for left-handed participants. Experiment 2 also examined degrees of handedness, and found significant variation in recall across the handedness range. Performance in this everyday-memory paradigm appears to be determined by both handedness and schema factors. It is proposed that although in this task the response was verbal one, relevant motor imagery may nevertheless have been activated and led to the highly unusual observation of an effect of handedness upon cognitive performance.


Journal article


Br J Psychol

Publication Date



88 ( Pt 4)


609 - 619


Adult, England, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Male, Mental Recall, Numismatics, Orientation, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Students