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Can Cerebral Lateralisation Explain Heterogeneity in Language and Increased Non-right Handedness in Autism? A literature review.

Pearson, Amy and Hodgetts, Sophie (2020) Can Cerebral Lateralisation Explain Heterogeneity in Language and Increased Non-right Handedness in Autism? A literature review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 105 (103738). ISSN 0891-4222

Item Type: Article


Autism is characterised by phenotypic variability, particularly in the domains of language and handedness. However, the source of this heterogeneity is currently unclear.
To synthesise findings regarding the relationship between language, handedness, and cerebral lateralisation in autistic people and consider how future research should be conducted in order to progress our understanding of phenotypic variability.
Methods and Procedures
Following a literature search and selection process, 19 papers were included in this literature review. Studies using behavioural, structural, and functional measures of lateralisation are reviewed.
Outcomes and Results
The studies reviewed provided consistent evidence of differential cerebral lateralisation in autistic people, and this appears to be related to between-group differences in language. Evidence relating this to handedness was less consistent. Many of the studies did not include heterogeneous samples, and/or did not specify the language process they investigated.
Conclusions and Implications
This review suggests that further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between cerebral lateralisation and phenotypic variability within autism. It is crucial that future studies in this area include heterogeneous samples, specify the language process they are investigating, and consider taking developmental trajectories into account.

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Depositing User: Amy Pearson


Item ID: 12355
Identification Number:
ISSN: 0891-4222
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Amy Pearson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Sophie Hodgetts: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2020 15:06
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 03:38


Author: Amy Pearson ORCID iD
Author: Sophie Hodgetts ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology


Psychology > Cognitive Behaviour
Psychology > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Psychology

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