From observed laterality to latent hemispheric differences: Revisiting the inference problem

Researchers interested in hemispheric dominance frequently aim to infer latent functional differences between the hemispheres from observed lateral behavioural or brain-activation differences. To be valid, these inferences may not only rely on the observed laterality measures but also need to account for the antecedent probabilities of the studied latent classes. This fact is frequently ignored in the literature, leading to misclassifications especially when considering low probability classes as, for example, “atypical” right hemispheric language dominance.