03/27/2015

One Last Thing: Left to Right

1:19 minutes

Pick up your pen and draw a rushing train, or a sprinting cheetah. Which way is it facing? Peter Walker, a psychologist at Lancaster University, scanned Google Images for pictures of things in motion and compared them to images of those same things at rest. In a paper recently published in the journal Perception, he found that when it comes to pictures of rapidly moving scenes, people have a preference for those that go from left to right, not right to left. Though the reasons are still unclear, Walker suspects that the preference may have its origin in handedness. He describes the project in this week’s One Last Thing.

Segment Guests

Peter Walker

Peter Walker is a reader in visual cognition at Lancaster University in Lancaster, United Kingdom.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.