Are you Right or Left-handed? How a Simple Test can tell Researchers more about your Levels of Schizotypy and Autism.

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Now that I’ve got you in with this headline, it should be clarified that a simple test to show whether you are left-handed or right-handed cannot determine whether you have a seriously increased chance of displaying schizotypy personalities or autism. But what such tests can do is to give researchers an idea of what type of cognitive lateralization you have in your brain.  This means that certain neural functions tend to be specialized to one side of the brain or the other. For instance, your dominant hand preference is a good proxy for the part of your brain where functions such as language production will be found. This has been taken farther by researchers to incorporate various brain imaging techniques along with different questionnaire inventories to find out how other functions may be lateralized in the brain.

All of this ties into my summer and what I did other than procrastinate writing my blog post. It involved running testing session and handing out questionnaires to undergraduate Psychology students to gather our data. After we had this data, we subsequently conducted the data analysis necessary to find out more about how people’s lateralization may be connected to levels of schizotypy and autism.

I learned a lot about how difficult research can be and how complex functions present themselves. Research is no easy hobby, but rather a process of steps people take to find out pieces to a bigger problem. It can be pretty simple, when handing out questionnaires, yet can be so hard at the same time as shown to me from the mountain load of statistics I had to re-learn. Regardless, I believe that this was an amazing journey and has allowed me to grow as a more well-rounded individual with a better understanding of scientific research.

By Bimbola Oyewunmi

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