Medical Education


Meta-analysis of handedness

Quite the most cited of the unpublished manuscripts, this meta-analysis of handedness was carried out with Beatrice Seddon when she was an intercalating medical student. It was a lovely study, and it was a decade and a half before any similar meta-analysis was to appear in the literature, but it was horribly abused by the editor of a very distinguished journal, who made completely unreasonable demands. The result was that it was never published, and the only part that ever saw the light of day was two figures in the chapter contributed to the 1991 Ciba Symposium on lateralisation. The first page of the PDF describes some of the problems without actually naming the names of the guilty.

In retrospect it is obvious that the conclusions about geographical differences were probably wrong, probably in large part because the studies were not up to it, but that apart the manuscript has stood the test of time quite well.