Left handers vs right handers facts: Left-Handers and Health Risks: 12 Little-Known Facts
20 things you didn’t know about being left-handed
The brains and bodies of lefties may operate differently than those of right-handed people (and in mixed-handed people, who may have different dominant hands for different tasks). “Handedness seems to be determined very early on in fetal development, when a lot of other things about your future are being determined as well,” says Ronald Yeo, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas-Austin. Here’s a look at some of the most common facts about being left-handed, and what it might really mean for your health.
Scientists aren’t exactly sure why some people are left-handed, but they know that genes are responsible about 25% of the time, says Yeo. Left-handedness does tend to run in families, he says, “but noticeably less than other inherited traits, like height or intelligence.” In fact, identical twins, who share the same genes, can sometimes have different dominant hands. There are plenty of theories on what else might determine which hand you write with, but many experts believe that it’s kind of random, says Yeo.
In one British study, the fetuses of super-stressed pregnant women were more likely to touch their faces more with their left hands than their right. This could be the first signs of a left-handed child, say the researchers. Other evidence supports that theory. In one 2008 Swedish study of moms and their 5-year-old children, women who were depressed or stressed during their pregnancies were more likely to have mixed- or left-handed kids. In other studies, babies with low birth weight, or born to older mothers, were more likely to be lefties as well.
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It’s more common in twins
Identical twins are sometimes mirror images of each other—one twin has a mole on her right cheek and the other has a mole in the same spot on her left cheek, for instance. It was once believed that twins’ genetic makeup should be “mirrored” as well—therefore, one twin should be left-handed and the other should be right. (It was also once thought that all left-handed people started out as twins, and that their rightie siblings died in the womb. )
Neither of these is true, but left-handedness is about twice as common in twins than in the general population. A 1996 Belgian study found that about 21% of twins, both fraternal and identical, are left-handed.
It doesn’t make you “right-brained”
Most right-handed people use the left hemisphere of their brains to process language, but that doesn’t mean most lefties are “right-brained”—that’s just a common myth, says Gina Grimshaw, PhD, director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Wellington in New Zealand. About 98% of right-handers are left-brained, she says, but so are about 70% of left-handers. Only about 30% are right-brained or bilateral-brained (in which both halves are equally capable). “Most left-handers seem to have similar language processing to right-handers,” Grimshaw says. For other one-sided brain functions, such as attention, emotion, music, and face perception, she says, there are less data. “But for the most part, left-handers do not differ obviously from right-handers. They certainly don’t have reversed brains.”
It may cause you to think differently
Society tends to associate the left side of something with the bad (“two left feet”), and the right side with the good (“my right-hand man”). But if you’re left-handed, you might not think the same way as righties, according to a 2009 Stanford University study. Participants were shown two columns of abstract illustrations and asked which seemed more intelligent, happy, honest, and attractive. Righties were more likely to choose the illustrations in the right column, while lefties were more likely to choose the drawings in the left column. “For left-handed people, implicitly, they think good stuff is on the left and bad stuff is on the right, even though consciously, explicitly, everything in language and culture is telling them the exact opposite,” the study’s lead author said in a press release. He believes this may even influence the way we vote on ballots, or which candidates we prefer when watching presidential debates.
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It can affect school performance
In a 2009 study of children 11 and younger, Australian researchers found that left-handed kids performed worse than right-handers several measures, including vocabulary, reading, writing, social development, and gross and fine motor skills. Mixed-handed kids performed even worse than lefties. Mixed-handed and left-handed children are more likely to use the two halves of their brains in unusual ways, which may put them at risk for mild learning disabilities, says Yeo. At the same time, however, some mixed-handed kids have an unrelated learning disability that’s making them struggle to decide which hand to write with. Either way, most kids catch up with their classmates as they get older, he says—being left-handed or mixed-handed isn’t a surefire predictor of how well kids perform as they grow up.
It’s linked to a risk of mental health problems
People who are left-handed are at greater risk of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, according to a 2013 Yale University study. When researchers polled patients at a mental-health clinic, 40% of those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective said they wrote with their left hand; that’s considerably higher than the 10% of lefties found in the general population. Studies have also found links between non-right-handedness and dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and some mood disorders.
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It does offer an advantage in sports
There’s one thing that most handedness experts can agree on: lefties have the upper hand (pun intended) when it comes to one-on-one sports like tennis, boxing, and pitching a baseball. In his book The Puzzle of Left-Handedness, linguist Rik Smits explains that athletes, (left- and right-handed) usually train against right-handed opponents. When finally facing a southpaw, lefties can easily adjust—but righties are at a double disadvantage. “They’re forced to engage in an asymmetrical battle for which they’re poorly prepared, against an opponent who’s a dab hand at dealing with this type of asymmetry,” he writes.
It may make for better fighters
In a 2005 French study, researchers found that southpaws made up just about 3% of the population in the most peaceful primitive societies, but 27% in the most warlike ones. Why? It goes back to the idea that lefties have a physical advantage over righties. In violent societies, researchers theorize, left-handers benefit from their unexpected left hook.
It doesn’t make you more creative
Left-handed people are often credited with being more creative than righties, but that’s a hard thing to measure, says Yeo. That rumor may come from a 1995 study that found left-handed men tended to engage in more “divergent thinking” than right-handed men—meaning they explore more options to solve a problem than the ones readily available. (For women, however, handedness made no difference.) “There’s a grain of truth to the creativity idea, but when you look at actual creative achievements in one’s lifetime, the evidence is not strong for association with left-handedness,” says Yeo.
It doesn’t mean you’re artsy
Southpaws also have a reputation for being introverted and artsy, says Grimshaw. “It’s an interesting contrast to views from a few decades ago or before, that stereotyped left-handers as somehow mentally or morally inferior,” she says. “However, the stereotype doesn’t reflect reality.” In a 2013 study, Grimshaw and her colleagues found no difference between left- and right-handed people on any of the five personality measures they tested. They did, however, find that mixed-handers were more introverted.
It’s linked to a higher risk of breast cancer
Left-handedness seems to be associated with some physical health issues. In a 2007 study published in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers found that left-handers had a higher risk of breast cancer than right-handers, especially for cancer that occurred after menopause. While the two seem completely unrelated, Yeo says that both could be the result of something affecting a fetus in early development. “We know that other physical vulnerabilities, like low birth weight and prenatal head circumference, can predict later health issues,” he says. “How you develop in utero may put you on a trajectory for certain strengths and weaknesses for your entire life.”
RELATED: 12 Things That Probably Don’t Increase Breast Cancer Risk
It doesn’t affect your general health
Scientists long suspected that being left-handed was somehow related to immune function, and that it may be a risk factor for an autoimmune disorder. Research has not been able to back up most of these claims, says Grimshaw, and that theory has been largely debunked. But one autoimmune condition handedness does seem to be associated with is inflammatory bowel disease. A 2001 British study found that lefties are twice as likely to suffer from bowel problems such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis than righties.
It’s linked to some sleep problems
Southpaws may be more prone to periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), which causes patients to involuntarily kick and jerk their arms and legs while sleeping. In a 2011 University of Toledo survey of 100 sleep clinic patients, researchers found that 69% of right-handers experienced limb movements on both sides of their body while sleeping. As for the left-handed patients, 94% of them had these movements. “Their findings indicate that left-handed people have significantly higher chances of having bilateral limb movements, indicating the potential for PLMD,” states a press release from the 2011 conference where the study was presented.
It doesn’t impact longevity
It was once thought that left-handed people were doomed to die earlier than their “normal” peers, thanks to a 1991 study from the University of British Columbia. (The study also found that car accidents were often to blame, so lefties also took on the reputation for being bad drivers.) But several studies since have debunked those claims, and scientists now generally accept that being a rightie or a leftie has zero effect on lifespan.
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It may up the risk of PTSD
A 2007 Scottish study found that left-handers were more likely to display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after watching clips from a scary movie. Other studies have found that non-right-handers experience more negative emotions. Both findings could be due to the fact that non-righties are more likely to have unusual brain lateralization, which could affect the way their brains process fear and anger.
It doesn’t make you a bigger drinker
Many small studies have suggested that lefties drink more than righties, but scientists weren’t sure why. They guessed that the unusual way lefties use the two sides of their brains made them more prone to alcoholism, or that lefties just drank more to deal with the stress of being a minority in a right-handed world. So a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Psychological Health examined the issue on a large scale, using self-reported data from more than 27,000 people. They found that left-handers did tend to drink more often, but mainly because they were “less likely to drink rarely (less than once a month) or not at all.” In other words, lefties weren’t more likely to binge drink or become alcoholics. “There is no reason to believe that it is associated with excessive alcohol consumption or risky drinking,” the authors wrote.
It might mean you earn less money
Whether the cognitive, mental, and physical differences lefties have from righties actually make a real-world difference in people’s lives is still up for debate—but a 2014 Harvard study suggests that they might. Researcher Joshua Goodman found that left-handed people’s salaries were, on average, 9 to 19% lower than their right-handed peers. (The gap between lefties and righties was $2,500 for men and $3,400 for women.) He also found that left-handers were more likely to not attend or to drop out of college, and to work in less cognitively demanding jobs, like manual labor. “When people ask me for the takeaway message, I tell them that it makes me pay a little extra attention to my kids as they develop their handedness,” Goodman said in a press release. “And if they turn out to be left-handed, I won’t worry, but will keep an eye out for some of these other things. “
Overall, handedness doesn’t really matter
Of all the interesting facts about handedness, probably the most important one, says Yeo, is that it doesn’t matter much at all. “The differences between righties and lefties are really rather subtle, and of much greater scientific interest than any kind of practical use,” he says. Grimshaw agrees, noting that mixed-handers seem to differ from “strong handers,” much more than left- and right-handers differ from each other. “However, we really don’t know much about the brains of mixed-handers, because we’ve been so focused on the left-handers,” she says. “Hopefully we’ll have a better understanding of them soon.” One thing is for sure, Yeo says: We shouldn’t assume much about people’s personalities or health just because of the hand they write with. And we certainly shouldn’t worry about lefties’ chances of success: After all (as of 2015), five of our last seven U.S. presidents have been either left- or mixed-handed.
This article originally appeared on Health. com.
Here Are 10 Interesting Facts That Make Left-Handers Unique
Lefthanders Day Images: Almost 10-12% of the global population are left-handed (Representational)
The International Left-Handers’ Day 2021 is celebrated every year on August 13. It is a way to acknowledge those who, unlike the majority of the population, are born left-handed. While we mark this day by calling up our lefty friends and family, let us look into some fun facts about lefties. Here’s a list of 10 fun facts about lefties that makes them unique in many ways. From historical suppression of their traits to their advantages in certain games, we’ve covered it all.
Here is the list that you can read to know better about your left-handed friends:
- A considerable part of the population, almost 10-12 per cent of the global population, consists of left-handers.
- Left-handers use the right side of the brain more. The human brain is cross-wired — its right half controls the left side of the body and vice versa. Hence, left-handers use their right side of the brain more than right-handed people do.
- Left-handers recover quicker after a stroke. The left side of the human brain, which is used a lot by right-handed people, controls our language function. Therefore, strokes on the left side of the body, tamper with the language of a right-handed person. But left-handers depend lesser on the left side of the brain. Hence, they can recover their language abilities faster after a stroke.
- Left-handers have an advantage in some sports. They are usually good at sports when in a one-on-one face-off. In games like baseball, boxing, fencing and tennis, left-handers often have an edge over their right-handed opponents who are used to playing with right-handed players mostly.
- Left-handers have typing advantages. On a QWERTY keyboard, they can type over 3,000 English words by solely using the left hand. But only around 300 words can be typed with the right hand alone. We’ll notice that the most typed letters are towards the left side of the keyboard.
- There are people who are afraid of the left-side or left-handed people. This condition can take the form of a phobia and is known as Sinistrophobia.
- A study at Queen’s University, Belfast shows that if the foetus chooses to suck its left hand while in the womb, it will grow up to be left-handed. Genetics also plays a role to determine left-handedness.
- In many cultures and countries, being a left-hander is thought to be unnatural. In eastern countries like India or in the Middle East, left-handedness is thought to be rude. In the UK, too, left-handed children were once forced to use their right hands.
- While this is still contested, studies have found that artists like painters, musicians and even architects are mostly left-handers.
- Right and left-handed people deal with tasks and memory in different ways. Left-handers are known to efficiently multitask as they look at the tasks as a whole.
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Brain and Nervous System: Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed People
How Rare Are Lefties?
Right-handed people dominate the world, and it’s been that way since the Stone Age. How do we know? Researchers figured it out by measuring the arm bones in ancient skeletons and by examining wear patterns in prehistoric tools. In Western countries, lefties make up only about 10% of the population. Folks who favor different hands for different tasks (mixed handed) or who use both hands with equal skill (ambidextrous) are uncommon.
Scientists have long known that handedness is partly shaped by genes. But it wasn’t until 2019 that they identified differences in parts of the DNA of left- and right-handers. The study, which also analyzed brain scans of 9,000 British subjects, found that in lefties, the parts of the right and left sides of the brain that process language work in better tandem. Whether that makes left-handers more fluent speakers is still to be investigated.
Handedness in the Womb
Fetuses start to move their arms around 9-10 weeks. By early in the second trimester, the babies show a clear preference for sucking one thumb over the other. So handedness is probably hardwired before birth. Still, most development experts say parents likely won’t get a good sense of their child’s dominant hand until age 2 or 3. Many kids continue to switch hands for different tasks during early childhood.
Mixed Dominant Hands
Studies show that non-right-handed students are much more likely to struggle in school and have ADHD symptoms. That may be particularly true for those who are mixed-handed or ambidextrous. One study found that children who switch hands back and forth are about twice as likely to have dyslexia. Researchers don’t know exactly why. But they suspect that having an inconsistent dominant hand may be a bigger problem than consistent left-handedness.
Your brain’s right side controls muscles on the left side of your body and largely drives musical and spatial abilities. That may be why left-handers often hold more than their share of slots in creative professions. Mirror writing, where letters are reversed and written backward, is almost always done with the left hand. Some studies show that left-handed children score higher on verbal reasoning or are more likely to be in gifted programs. But other research differs.
Handedness and Age
In an interesting experiment with right-handed seniors, researchers found that the subjects relied less and less on their dominant hand the older they got. As their right hands grew slower and unsteady, the elderly people handled some of the tasks just as well with their left hands. But they still all saw themselves as strong righties.
Handedness and Athletics
Lefties appear to have an edge in sports like boxing or fencing, where they might surprise opponents used to facing off against mostly right-handers. In some years, nearly half of Major League Baseball’s All-Star roster has been southpaws or switch hitters. But that may be due less to athletic talent than to practical advantages like the fact that left-handed hitters stand closer to first base.
There’s a well-established link between left-handedness and mental conditions like schizophrenia, which can cause hallucinations and impaired thinking. A large recent study in the U.K. found a strong link between regions of the brain involved in handedness and how likely you are to have mood swings, restlessness, and neuroticism, a personality type marked by anxiety and fear that sometimes can veer into mental disorder.
Humans vs. Apes
We’re not the only animals with a handedness trait. Researchers watching wild chimps found they favor their left hands twice as often when fishing for termites. And the same was largely true for chimpanzees raised in captivity. But results were different for nut-cracking. For that task, which requires sheer force instead of the fine motor skills needed for extracting insects, wild chimps were much more likely to favor their right hands.
Cultural biases against left-handers has existed throughout history. In the Middle Ages, the devil was believed to be a lefty. In Japan, China, and other Asian countries, the percentage of left-handers is much smaller than in the West. American teachers and doctors in the early 1900s believed that left-handers were more prone to mental disorders and pressured students to switch hands.
Four of the six most recent U.S. presidents were lefties: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Celebrity southpaws include Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Tom Cruise, Paul McCartney, Prince Charles, and his son, Prince William.
Tools for Lefties
If you’re a righty and ever used your left hand to cut with scissors, you know it’s awkward. Lefties can find a growing number of products for the kitchen, office, and elsewhere that are designed with them in mind. You can buy knives with the sharpened edge on the right side of the blade for cleaner slicing. Or a measuring cup with unit labels that face you when you hold it in your left hand.
Left-Handed Facts and Folklore | Why are Some People Left-Handed?
International Left-Handers Day is August 13! To celebrate, here are some fun facts and folklore about being left-handed. Right on, left-handers!
Years ago, some teachers insisted that all students, including left-handers, learn to write with their right hand. Teachers thought that students would have an easier time if they were not “different” from right-handed writers. Some thought that using the left hand was just a bad habit. Some even slapped or punished left-handed kids who had trouble!
Now we know that everyone should use whichever hand is most comfortable. Today, 10 to 12 percent of the world’s population is left-handed. It’s not surprising that lefties sometimes feel “left out.” Plenty of superstitions and odd terms regarding left-handedness exist.
Left-Hander Superstitions and Terms
- Many people believe that the devil is left-handed.
- The Latin word for left, sinister, also means unlucky, evil, and suspicious.
- The French word for left, gauche, also means clumsy.
- A left-handed compliment is an insult.
- A left-handed baseball pitcher is called a southpaw. (And no, there’s no such thing as a northpaw!)
Why are some people left-handed and others right-handed?
Scientists aren’t sure what causes left-handedness. Genetics plays a role, but it’s not the whole story. For example, identical twins have the same DNA, but it is common for one twin to be right-handed and the other to be left-handed.
Many left-handers have a symmetrical brain, meaning that the left and right portions of their brain are shaped alike. Right-handers often have an asymmetrical brain: The left cerebral hemisphere is often larger than the right cerebral hemisphere.
No matter the shape of your brain, or the hand you favor, here’s what we have—um—left:
Left-Handed Facts and Trivia
The Left Test
There’s no sure way to measure “handedness.” One of the most widely-used tests is called the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory (developed in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1970s). This test asks participants which hand they most often use for a series of activities, including writing, eating, drawing, throwing, cutting with scissors, brushing teeth, and unscrewing a lid.
Left-handed Burgers? Baloney!
A full-page ad in USA Today in 1998 claimed that Burger King had developed the “left-handed whopper.” The burger had the same fixings, but they were turned 180 degrees so that they wouldn’t drip out on left-handed customers. It was a joke! The ad ran on April 1 (April Fools’ Day).
August 13 is International Left-Handers Day! The tradition was started by the Left-Handers Club, a group in the United Kingdom. Club members around the world give interviews and play left-handed games.
Lefties might want to travel to Left Hand, West Virginia, where there is a church, a school, and a post office. The village was so named because it sits on the left-hand fork of the Big Sandy River, not because of the way its citizens write.
A few left-handers attending Juniata College in Pennsylvania have benefited from a scholarship just for left-handers established in 1979 by Mary and Frederick Beckley, two left-handers who met when they attended tennis class together in 1919.
If you’re right-handed, try writing with your left. If you’re left-handed, try brushing your teeth with your right. You’re likely to find these activities surprisingly difficult.
So, tell us below if you are a lefty or righty and what you’ve observed about this phenomenon called handedness!
Amazing facts about lefties for Left-Handers Day
Barack Obama is left handed
August 13 is Left-Handers’ Day, a day for left-handed people to forget about the right-handed world they live in.
Research suggests that between ten and twelve percent of the world’s population is left-handed and even though being left handed might mean struggling with right-handed scissors from time-to-time, there are plenty of reasons being a lefty is pretty cool.
Though left-handers make up a small percentage of the world’s population, many have had very important jobs.
Several past US presidents have been left-handed, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
In Britain, former prime minister David Cameron is left-handed, as was famous wartime PM, Winston Churchill.
Future King of the United Kingdom, Prince William is also left-handed.
William’s great-grandfather George VI was naturally left-handed too, but his father George V forced him to write with his right hand.
Prince William is a famous lefty
When left isn’t right
Just like Prince William’s great-grandfather George VI, it wasn’t uncommon in the past for left-handers to be forced to use their right hand to do things.
Until recently in the UK left-handed people were historically forced as children to use their right hands for tasks where they would naturally use their left hand. This still happens in some countries now.
In many parts of the world, the left hand is considered unclean or rude to use. If you’re left-handed and visiting places like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and the Middle East, it’s thought of as rude behaviour to eat, pick up or hand over things with your left hand.
Even language proves that left-handers get a bad rap.
In French, “gauche” can mean “left” or “clumsy”. In English the word ‘left’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lyft’, meaning ‘weak’. “Right” also means “to be right”.
Lefties accused of witchcraft!
So, as we know for many cultures, being left-handed is considered to be a bad thing and historically that’s been the case too!
Left-handed people have been considered unlucky and even evil – the word “sinister” comes from the Latin word for left.
In Britain in the Middle Ages, lefties were associated with the devil and often accused of the crime of witchcraft, meaning they would get burned at the stake.
Thankfully, left-handers only have to worry about smudging their handwriting these days.
Some studies suggest more and more people are left-handed, but that’s probably because it was previously seen as such a bad thing so people didn’t admit to it.
Why are people left-handed?Getty Images
The left and right side of the brain do different things
The left and right side of the brain
The brain is cross-wired, meaning that the right side controls the left side of the body and vice versa.
Scientists at the University of Oxford say that the brains of left-handed people work differently than right-handed people.
In a study, the brain was monitored in left-handed participants. Scientists say the two sides of the brain were better connected in lefties and more co-ordinated, particularly in the areas that involve using language.
Chris McManus, from University College London, author of the book Right Hand, Left Hand says:
“If you are left-handed you might find yourself with a slightly unusual way your brain is organised and suddenly that gives you skills that other people don’t have.”
It’s often claimed that left-handed people are more likely to be creative and good at art or music. However there is not enough scientific evidence to prove this so far.
However, some famously creative left-handers include: Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Caitlyn Jenner, Justin Bieber and Simpsons creator Matt Groening (that’s why Bart Simpson writes with his left-hand).
Simpson’s character Bart Simpson is left-handed
How do you become left-handed in the first place?
Northern Irish psychologist Peter Hepper studied several hundred baby scans, when the baby in the womb was sucking its thumb.
About 90% of babies sucked their right thumb and at 12-years-old almost all of those right thumb suckers were right-handed. Whereas three-quarters of the left thumb suckers became left-handed.
Your genetics are also important.
One left-handed parent means you’re more likely to be left-handed. If both parents are left-handed then there’s a one in four chance you’ll be left-handed too.
As babies, it’s quite common for small children to randomly use one hand one day and a different hand the next. But from about two-years-old toddlers tend to prefer using one hand more than the other.
Kangaroos use their left hand to groom and eat
Humans are one of the few animals to show a preference between the left and right hand. Most creatures, even apes, our closest cousins in the animal kingdom show a 50-50 split when it comes to which hand, foot or paw they use the most.
However, left-handed animals include kangaroos, which tend to favour their left paw for things like grooming and eating. Also, studies have shown that 90% of parrots use their left foot to pick things up.
Evidence suggests cave men and women were left-handed too
Early humans were left handed too!
Like the humans of today, most of our ancient ancestors were right handed, but there is evidence that there were left-handed Neanderthals 500,000 years ago.
Back then cave men and women were probably eating raw meat a lot of the time, which is pretty tough on the teeth.
Archaeologists think Neanderthals would bite the meat and use a sharp piece of stone to cut the meat up next to their mouth.
Occasionally the stone would slip…
From the direction of the scratches on their teeth, ten percent of Neanderthals seem to have held the stone cutter with their left hand.
Are you left-handed? Do you think it’s given you any advantages or disadvantages? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
9 Weird Advantages of Being Left Handed
August 13 marks National Leftie Day. If you’re a southpaw, you may not be aware of these surprising facts.
1. Daydream believer
Lefties make up only about 10 percent of the population, but studies find that individuals who are left-handed score higher when it comes to creativity, imagination, daydreaming and intuition. They’re also better at rhythm and visualization.
2. In good company
Benjamin Franklin and Henry Ford are listed as left-handed, along with four of the last five U.S. presidents. England’s Prince William is also a lefty. Michaelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Renoir made the list, as well.
3. Health perks
Left-handed stroke victims reportedly recover faster. While the reason is unclear, some believe it’s due to left-handed people having to strengthen both sides of the brain to succeed in a right-handed world. Because many lefties are better at using their non-dominant hand, it’s less difficult for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain.
4. Think it over
Left-handed people are said to be good at complex reasoning, resulting in a high number of lefty Noble Prize winners, writers, artists, musicians, architects and mathematicians. According to research published in the American Journal of Psychology, lefties appear to be better at divergent thinking.
5. Join the club
For a quarter-century, the official left-handers club has hosted events dedicated to left-handed people across the globe. Activities include left vs.right sports matches, a left-handed tea party and pubs that use only left-handed corkscrews.
6. A sporting chance
Left-handers may have the edge in competitions where opponents face each other, such as tennis, baseball and boxing. This may be due to the fact left-handed athletes have more opportunity to practice against right-handed opponents.
7. Success stories
Word is, left-handed college graduates go on to become 26 percent richer than right-handed students. In addition, four of the five original designers of the Macintosh (Apple) computer are listed as lefties.
8. Shop ’til you drop
There are stores devoted to selling practical and novelty items to lefties. Online shops offer everything from left-handed mugs and kitchen sets to school and office supplies, clothing and “backwards” watches and clocks.
9. Very superstitious
According to myth, giving a toast with your left hand is the same as placing a curse on the person you’re saluting. When Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, depictions showed her as being left-handed, in order to appear more evil. Left-handers were also harshly discriminated against during the 18th and 19th centuries, and it was often “beaten out” of them.
8 Facts About Left-Handed People You Probably Don’t Know
This August 13 is National Left Handers’ Day! To all our left-handed iSucceed students, congrats to having your very own holiday! While left-handed people make only about 10% of the population, they hold some pretty interesting facts that we’re willing to bet you didn’t know! Check them out below.
8 Interesting Facts About Left-Handed People
Fact #1: Left-Handed people might be smarter
A few studies have shown that left-handed people are more likely to have an IQ of 131 or higher. Coincidentally, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein were all lefties.
Fact #2: They’re also known as “Southpaws”
The term was coined from baseball, as left-handed would pitch “south” of the diamond in order to accommodate for their left hand.
Fact#3: Left Handers Can Have the Advantage in Some Sports…And Typing
If you’ve seen the legendary “Rocky” movies, you’ll know that being left handed can have its perks in certain sports. Many boxers are left handed, or become left handed in order to deliver a punch their opponent isn’t used to. Tennis and baseball also can have its perks as a left hander.
Because a large majority of words on the qwerty keyboard are typed solely with the left hand (around 3,000 words with the left hand, but only about 400 with the right), left handers are likely to be faster typers since they’re using their dominant hand.
Fact #4: Living in a right-handed world can be tough
Think about it: your scissors are right-handed, your pens are slanted for the right hand, even the words on your favorite mug are printed to show when holding it with your right hand. Plus, writing on a paper or chalkboard is bound to smear for left handers. It’s a right-handed world we live in, and it can be tough for the lefties!
Fact #5: But there are left-handed tools!
Luckily, companies are catching on! These days, you can purchase scissors, pens and even measuring tape that reads right-to-left to help ease the burden of our left-handed folk.
Fact #6: Nearly half of cats are left-handed
People might be mostly right-hand dominant, but for cats, it’s pretty 50/50. So if you’re a left hander, you can likely find a cat that understands how you feel, since it might just be left-handed too!
Fact #7: Left Handers’ Day started 1976
The holiday started as a way to raise awareness for left handed people and give them a day to shine. Although it started in 1976, it didn’t become an official holiday in the USA until 1992.
Fact #8: Even if you are right-handed, you could have left-handed traits
While chances are, you write and throw a ball with your right hand, you could still have left-handed traits. For example, which eye do you close to see better? Or maybe you use your left hand to cut foods when you’re also holding a fork? You can take this quiz to see how left-handed you are, or try and let Buzzfeed guess in this fun quiz!
If you’re left handed, you can revel in a holiday dedicated just for you this August 13. If you’re right-handed, why not try being left-handed for a day and see what you can accomplish!
- Do you have another fun fact you’d like to add to the list? Share with us in the comments below!
90,000 Interesting facts about lefties
In the USSR, left-handers were massively retrained as right-handers. To do this, the child’s left hand was tied to a chair so that the student could write only with his right. And Peter I forbade left-handed people to testify in court. Only years later, scientists found out that left-handedness in some cases is transmitted at the genetic level.
On 13 August, the world celebrates International Left-Handed Day. In honor of the holiday, 5-tv.ru collected 17 unusual facts about left-handers.
1. In Ancient Greece, left-handers were referred to a special caste, close to the gods. But in medieval Europe, left-handed people were considered messengers of Satan and sometimes burned at the stake.
2. In Japan, until the 20th century, a woman’s left-handedness was a significant reason for divorce.
3. Scientists think that the dominance of this or that hand in 25% of cases is determined genetically, and the rest – by the environment. It happens that a child injures his hand and begins to use the other.
4. The gene LRRTM1, which plays a key role in the formation of speech and emotions, is responsible for left-handedness.
The retraining of a left-hander to a right-hander leads to mental problems in the child; TASS / Geodakyan Artem
5. According to archaeologists, people of antiquity were equally good at using both hands, but later the bias occurred to the right.
6. To retrain left-handers into right-handers in the USSR ceased in 1986 with the decree of the Ministry of Education. Previously, it was believed that it would be difficult for left-handers to live in a world designed for right-handers. However, later it turned out that retraining a left-hander to a right-hander leads to mental abnormalities in the child, such as nervous tics, even epilepsy.
7. Using the left hand for writing does not mean that the person is left-handed. Charlie Chaplin mostly used his left hand, but wrote with his right.
8. About 90% of the world’s population is right-handed. Only 3-5% are left-handed. The rest are ambidextrous, that is, people who are good at using both hands. However, only 1% of the ambidextrous draws, writes and does their daily activities masterfully.
9. There are more left-handers among men than among women.
10. Left-handed athletes won up to 40% of gold medals in boxing.
11. The chance of a left-handed couple to give birth to a left-hander reaches 30%, with a right-handed couple – about ten.
12. Mothers over 40 are 128 times more likely to give birth to a left-handed woman than a younger woman.
13. It is believed that left-handers start puberty later than right-handers. However, we are talking about a difference of several months.
Lefties are more common among creative people than right-handers; RIA Novosti / Alexey Danichev
14. Left-handers can often get sick because of childhood experiences associated with the right-handed world.In addition, they themselves are quite susceptible and sensitive.
15. Up to 2.5 thousand left-handers die every year. Young people and girls are dying in accidents due to the use of right-handed objects.
16. According to a study by scientists from the University of Oxford, left-handers have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia than right-handers.
17. Artists and musicians are more common among left-handers than among right-handers.
Julius Caesar, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton were left-handed.Lefties among modern celebrities – Valery Meladze, Ksenia Sobchak, Barack Obama, Jim Carrey
20+ facts about left-handed people who have always been considered “out of this world.” And lagged behind them quite recently
Our entire world is “imprisoned” for right-handed people, and only recently companies began to take into account the needs of left-handers in the production of goods. But there are not so few people in the world with a leading left hand – 15%. The increase in their number is explained by the fact that today parents and doctors are trying not to suppress left-handedness and not to retrain the child forcibly.But it was not always so.
We at Bright Side were very curious to figure out how left-handers lived at different times and whether their type of thinking really differs from the way of thinking of right-handers. And in the bonus, we put several personal stories.
Lefties in history
Ever since humanity realized that leading hands can be different, and a certain stigmatization of left-handers began – this feature has long been considered abnormal and even “devilish”.
Negative attitude towards left-handers and attribution of paranormal abilities to them is largely due to the very semantics of the word – in many countries “left” is translated as “bad”, “fake”, “weak”, “alien”.
Everything was not so simple in Russia. Peter I issued a law against left-handers – they were considered unreliable, so he forbade left-handers, along with redheads, to testify in court.
And, for example, Pushkin tried not to advertise his peculiarity and used his right hand in public.He was retrained in childhood, but they could not completely deceive nature, and he used both hands equally well.
But many other famous personalities did not hide their peculiarities, for example Napoleon, Mozart, Lewis Carroll.
In Islam, eating with the left hand is considered undesirable, therefore, of course, Muslim parents did not encourage the child to be left-handed.
Why did they try to retrain them and what did it lead to
And Petya, such a bummer, bent down slowly,
Threw a snowball with the wrong hand.Everyone laughs: left-handed.
Petya’s left hand wants to be more important,
He will not cope with her in any way, will not cope with her in any way.
The retraining of left-handers has, of course, been practiced all over the world. However, in totalitarian states this process was more pronounced, left-handed people tried to correct and “bring to a common denominator.” In addition, until the 70s of the twentieth century, this had a practical basis: everyone wrote in ink, and those who wrote with their left hand smeared it.
Left-handers were considered “wrong” children who must be rescued, and mothers were very nervous if a child was born left-handed.Although open violence was not welcomed, according to eyewitness accounts, rather harsh methods were used in schools and kindergartens.
In China, they did everything to retrain left-handers and prevent the popularization of this phenomenon in society.
Parents were scared that a child’s left-handedness could provoke other problems: stuttering, neurological diseases.
In Europe, special pressure on left-handers was exerted up to the middle of the twentieth century, this feature was considered something akin to illness, emotional instability.
But, as it turned out much later, forcing a child to use an unusual hand was tantamount to physical and emotional abuse. As a result, children begin to suffer from obsessive movements, fears, and sleep disturbances. Such childhood trauma can affect a person throughout his life. Neurologists and psychologists began to talk about this openly.
Are lefties really that much different from right-handers?
Most left-handers have a more developed right hemisphere of the brain.But in about 30% of left-handed people, the hemispheres are equally developed. The left hemisphere helps to successfully solve new versions of old problems, and the right hemisphere – new and old tasks brought to automatism. The right hemisphere is also responsible for associative thinking, processing information from different senses. Thanks to this, left-handers think non-linearly and find non-standard solutions.
Left-handed children find it harder to tolerate rigid frames, especially when they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.But when they are on their own, their abilities flourish. Lefties often choose creative professions for themselves – in the field of art, music, sports. But the circle of interests of the left-hander is not limited to traditionally creative pursuits; they also exist among gifted mathematicians and physicists.
It is interesting that our subconscious is connected with the leading hand. Scientists from the University of Chicago conducted an experiment and found that when performing habitual actions, people subconsciously choose the side that is more convenient and comfortable for them – this is the side of the working hand.For example, not seeing much of a difference between two products in a store, left-handers choose the left-handed product and right-handers choose the right.
The study authors also found that the differences between right-handed and left-handed people extend to the brain. For right-handers, the centers responsible for creativity and a sense of happiness are located in the left hemisphere, for left-handers – vice versa. This means that therapies targeting specific areas of the brain can have the opposite effect on a person, depending on their dominant hand.
This discovery has significant implications for the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression. Doctors treat it by increasing the activity of the left hemisphere. But for left-handed people, this treatment can have the opposite effect, so therapy should be directed to the right hemisphere.
Who are ambidextra
People who cannot identify the leading hand and use both equally are called ambidextra.
Leonardo Da Vinci was ambidextrous – he wrote with his right hand and painted with his left. He also possessed the unique ability to mirror writing from right to left.
Often people assume that this trait is ideal for life and can be learned. But scientists have destroyed this myth: you should not specially study ambidexterity – it can damage the nervous system at any age.
Two-handed people are less common than left-handers.But ambidexterity can be acquired – often left-handers who reeducate themselves become them. Only 1% of the total population is ambidextrous from birth.
How left-handed people are treated in the modern world
Left-handedness is considered the norm in the modern world. And the surrounding space also becomes more comfortable for left-handers. For example, special writing utensils are already on sale: sharpeners with a counterclockwise thread, scissors with a blade on the other side, handles with indentations for the fingers of the left hand that allow you to grip the instrument correctly, and even rulers with numbers in reverse order.
European style kitchen knives are symmetrical. For left-handers, there are also special corkscrews, computer mice and keyboards, surgical supplies, sports goods, musical instruments.
They try not to break children, but to adapt them to a comfortable life. But nevertheless, for many representatives of the older generation, left-handedness remains something alarming, and grandmothers often worry about their grandchildren, tell children what urgently needs to be done to “fix” the child.
Bonus: Personal Stories
“When I was at university, our anthropology teacher told me that some left-handers had no idea that they were born left-handed. The fact is that from childhood we are taught to do everything with the right hand, at least the most significant actions like eating or writing. And what we master on our own (such as washing dishes), we do as it is convenient for us, and not as taught. Therefore, there are people who eat and write with their right hand, but squeeze out a wet rag and wash dishes with their left.This also applies to me. I remember how in childhood they took a spoon from my left hand and gave it to my right. As an adult, I also wash dishes with my left hand, when I jump, I push off with my left foot, my left eye is also the leading one, although this is not always associated with left-handedness. ”
“My three-year-old nephew has not yet decided which hand is more convenient for him to eat, so he loves to eat soup with two spoons in turn.”
“I am left-handed and played the piano for 7 years in a music school.But for the piano, composers write music according to the principle: the right hand is the leader, the left is for the accompaniment. And for 7 years I wondered what kind of discrimination it was for left-handers on the basis of the musical principle. And I was clumsy, but still managed to play the main part with my non-main hand and even graduated from music school. ”
“My son is left-handed and I never tried to retrain him. As a result, he writes with his left hand, he can eat with both. Once, when he was 11–12 years old, he broke his left arm. The teachers said, they say, it’s good that I’m not right, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write.We explained that he was left-handed, and a reasonable question followed: “Why is he eating right-handed?”
I write with my left hand. Usually, when asked to fill out something or sign something, the people of the generation of the 60s and 70s react violently: “Oh, are you left-handed?” I know that for them this is wildness, they say, but what has not been retrained. But this question always baffles me, and I began to answer: “No, well, what are you, how is it possible? This is me, I just got my hands mixed up. ” Their look is beyond words! “© 3110elena / Pikabu
Are you right-handed or left-handed?
90,000 Some interesting facts about right-handers and left-handers
The body is an amazing thing.We all have different physical characteristics, we also differ in different talents and mental abilities. Unusual features set us apart from those around us. We observe one of them every day – this is the difference between people, some of us are right-handed and others are left-handed.
Scientists argue that if a person easily controls the left hand, then this should not be hindered and try to fix it. The world’s left-handers are about 4 percent.
Right-handed – Right-handed is sometimes called right-handed.That is, such a person has a leading, main working hand – the right one. She is agile, skillful, developed and can perform more complex actions than the left limb. According to statistics, 85 to 90 percent of the planet earth is right-handed, which defines them as the dominant population. As for the lower limbs, being right-handed does not mean that the leading leg will also be on the right. For example, many right-handed people use their left foot as a kick in football. From the point of view of neurology, in right-handers, the right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the imagery of thinking, and the left for logic.
Lefties – or left-handed representatives of humanity. Here, based on the definition, the leading hand is left. Considering that there are only 10-15 percent of such people on the planet, many interesting and even inexplicable things are associated with left-handedness. For starters, it is worth noting that neuroscience defines a different role for the cerebral hemispheres than for right-handers. Left-handers dream with their left hemisphere, and solve mathematical and logical problems with their right ones.
If you look into history, it turns out that many geniuses were left-handed, for example Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.There is no generally accepted explanation as to why most people are right-handed and others are left-handed.
One of the theories is that our body is asymmetric, that is, the right half does not exactly repeat the left one. The right side of the face is slightly different from the left, one leg is slightly longer than the other, the feet are slightly different in size. This asymmetry is observed throughout the body. The right and left hemispheres of the brain also function differently, and it is assumed that the left hemisphere is dominant over the right.The nervous system connects each hemisphere to the opposite side of the body.
In the case when the left side of the brain predominates, the right side of the brain is more perfect.
With the help of the left hemisphere of the brain, we read, speak, write and work. This explains the fact that most of us are right-handed. In left-handers, the right side of the brain predominates over the left, as a result of this, left-handers have better control over the left side of the body. We live in a right-handed society, and most of the items we use are made for just such people.
What is the difference between a left-hander and a right-hander?
Among the huge number of people living on earth, almost every seventh person is left-handed. What is a lefty? A left-hander is a person whose left hand plays the leading, dominant role, and not the right one, like most people.
Why are some born right-handed and others left-handed?
The gene for left-handedness can be inherited, for example, if one of your older relatives was left-handed, then it is likely that the gene can manifest itself both in the next generation and in a generation.
Also, left-handedness can appear as a result of a birth injury or a brain injury, in which the left hemisphere was damaged, it is just responsible for right-handedness. In this connection, a healthy right hemisphere compensated for the damage and took over the work of the left hemisphere of the brain.
It is often possible to meet pseudo-left-handed people, such people began to use their left hand to a greater extent due to injury to their right hand, or as a result of imitation of left-handed people. Pseudo-left-handed representatives of humanity often use both left and right hands equally.
August 13 is recognized as World Left-Handed Day. This day was recognized for the fact that people began to pay attention to the various problems of left-handers.
The most surprising thing is that the percentage of left-handed people is very gifted. Mozart, Beethoven, Raphael, Charlie Chaplin, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Jeanne d’Arc, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates – they are left-handed!
It is curious that if you observe newborn babies, you will notice that they take more often with their left hand.There are many sports today where left-handedness is an advantage. Lefties are very much appreciated in sports, as they have non-standard techniques. They kind of mirror the game. For example, in boxing. Did you know that left-handed boxers generally win 35% – 40% of gold medals? They are agile and unpredictable in the ring.
Absolute right-handed – 42% . They are dominated by the left hemisphere (the leading right hand, leg, eye, ear, in such people in 95% of cases the center of speech is in the left hemisphere), they are characterized by the verbal-logical nature of cognitive processes, a tendency to abstraction and generalization;
Absolute left-handers – 8-10%. With the dominance of the right hemisphere (on the contrary, the leading left hand, leg, eye, ear, the center of speech in the right hemisphere). They are characterized by concrete-figurative thinking, developed imagination;
Absence of a pronounced dominance of one of the hemispheres (equal hemisphere people) – 48-50%. These are either right-handers with signs of left-handedness, or left-handers with signs of right-handedness (according to the leading eye, the person is left-handed, and according to the hand – right-handed, etc.).
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90,000 Myths and facts about the abilities of left-handers.News. Channel One
Today is International Left-Handed Day! There are legends about their abilities, but the whole world really knows many: Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Charlie Chaplin, Einstein, Leo Tolstoy. It is said that people who act with their left instead of their right hand are more gifted and creative. Is it so?
Dasha and Nastya are friends and sparing partners. In life – do not spill water. In battle – one mirror image of the other, literally left-handed and right-handed. It seems that they will stand up against each other – and the friendship is over.The left-hander has an advantage: a direct hit into unprotected areas. The coach believes that the myth explains why in a fight that has frozen like a frame.
Behind the scenes, the left-hander Nastya admits: when she sees a right-hander in front of her, she understands: even if she has a momentary superiority, she has, until the enemy gets used to it. But the more experienced the athlete becomes, the less the side matters to him. Arm strength is only part of the tactic.
“During my career, I have not had any advantage of being a physiological left-hander.It’s just that there are fighters who are comfortable or uncomfortable, “notes Dmitry Shevchenko, champion of the Olympic Games, coach of CSKA, head coach of the Russian men’s national foil fencing team. “Coach Pavel Bochkarev is sure. His wards believe in the advantage by nature. And let it be considered that a good athlete can do everything, they know for sure: the left-hander is even more.
Among gifted people there is a large percentage of left-handers, scientists neatly sum up the results.”Leonardo da Vinci, Churchill, Newton. A professor at St. Petersburg University noticed: her best students take notes almost all with their left hand, and, the teacher emphasizes, this does not mean that every left-hander is Newton, but when Newton turns out to be left-handed, all the cards converge.
“The ability is not just good at counting, it can do it well with a computer. I don’t need a person for this. But such an ability to do no one knows what,” notes Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of St. Petersburg University.
Until recently, it was believed that a left-handed person is an exclusively human quality. It turned out that asymmetry is a property of nature. For example, some species are predominantly left-footed. Every domestic cat is right-handed. But every domestic cat will hunt exclusively with its left paw. Experienced breeders conduct the experiment.
With his left hand he rests on the frame to get a better look at his friend. Ward Elena Neprintseva is clearly not indifferent to her. And therefore he demonstrates himself with pleasure. Before our eyes, a scientific experiment is taking place, which confirms: unlike other great apes – gorillas and chimpanzees, orangutans are all left-handed.
To develop her creative right hemisphere, Yuna Yuzheva wrote with her left hand every day. And she claims that in two years she not only learned to draw. Her whole life is now creativity. The former personnel officer can also tell about the charlotte as about a picture.
Instead of legal reports – dolls sewn by hand, landscapes and a whole pile of papers with exercises: to have a result, you need to train your left hand every day. Slicing the pie with her nevertheless comfortable right, Yuna assures us: training is not needed to do everything twice as fast with both hands later, but in order to develop one more hemisphere.Then life will become twice as interesting.
Lefties really special? – TASS
Who are left-handers?
The answer is not as obvious as it sounds. Usually left-handers and right-handers are judged by the leading hand. To determine it, use questionnaires. The most famous is Edinburgh, but they are all similar: a person is asked how he prefers to perform different actions. Most revealing is in which hand he holds the hammer, although outside laboratories and doctor’s offices they often judge by which hand a person writes with.
There is also a leading leg (and even an eye!). This is noticeable in football: left-handers are highly valued because they are more comfortable playing on the left half of the field and it is difficult for right-handed opponents to play with them. In 2016, scientists calculated that in the junior national teams of the Netherlands, the left leg was the leading one in 31% of the players. Outside the field, left-handers are three times less common: there are slightly more than 10% of them, and another 9% of people prefer one or the other hand (and, for that matter, a leg).
But regardless of preference, people can still use the other hand.How well it works is assessed by three indicators: grip strength, speed and agility. It would seem that skill directly depends on preferences, but experiments say that this is not always the case. Someone’s second hand listens better than others, in addition, the specific task matters.
Perhaps it would be more correct not to divide people into two distinct groups, but to place them on a scale where there are pronounced left-handers and right-handers along the edges, but there are also intermediate cases. And geneticist and neurologist Daniel Geschwind once said that left-handers are more accurately called “wrong-handed” because they often have good control of both hands.
Why are some left-handed and others right-handed?
Already at the 14th week of pregnancy, the human embryo usually turns its head to the right and sucks on the finger of its right hand (interestingly, when kissing, only two-thirds of people tilt their head to the right – another example off the scale and against dividing into two groups). This usually indicates whether the child will be right-handed or left-handed – it can be assumed that this trait is to some extent innate.
According to one hypothesis, in left-handed people in the womb, the brain is formed in a special way because of testosterone.Therefore, there are about a quarter more left-handers among men than among women. And the level and susceptibility to testosterone can depend on the genes of the mother and child. Heredity is also indicated by the fact that left-handed parents often have the same children, and if one of the twins is left-handed, then the second will turn out to be more likely than the average. True, it happens in another way.
Scientists have tried to find a gene that predetermines this trait. Several candidates were under suspicion. When DNA decryption became cheaper, it was possible to find dozens of small differences, which individually slightly affect whether a person is left-handed or right-handed.But, firstly, it is unclear exactly how they act, and secondly, even all together they do not allow to say with certainty who is standing in front of you.
Analysis of data on half a million Britons showed that there are more left-handers among those who were born with low body weight, twins and women born in the summer, but if you take all seasons, then there are still more left-handed men. They are more likely to be those who have not been breastfed. Finally, the proportion of left-handers increased until 1970, and among those born outside the UK there are almost a third fewer.The last two patterns are easier to explain by prejudice and upbringing, and not by nature.
What prejudices are there about left-handers?
In many cultures, the left side is bad. For Christians, the left hand is associated with the devil, for Muslims it is considered unclean. When someone is out of sorts, we ask: “Did you get up with your left foot?” The words “right” and “right” are similar for a reason. And the English word sinister, which means “ominous”, “evil”, comes from the Latin for the left hand.In English, left-handedness is still called sinistrality. That is why from time immemorial, left-handed people were treated with caution.
In the USSR and other countries they were retrained, and sometimes they still do it. It’s not so much about superstition or the fact that left-handedness is considered a pathology – it’s just that many things, for example, computer mice, make them asymmetrical, comfortable for right-handers. But in the second half of the 20th century, when this practice gradually receded into the past, there were suggestions that left-handedness – at least in some cases – is still a deviation in the development of the brain.
So left-handedness is a pathology or a variant of the norm?
Although left-handedness is a well-known but mysterious phenomenon, it was not properly studied until the 1970s. Scientists then hypothesized that birth trauma caused left-handedness, or that sex hormones (especially testosterone) could interfere with brain development during pregnancy. These conjectures were supported by statistics: supposedly, left-handed people are more likely to have some neurological, mental disorders and even autoimmune diseases, and they live on average seven years less than right-handers.
But left-handers and right-handers are not only among people: they are pigeons, bees, zebrafish and other animals, which are separated by millions of years of evolution. True, such a large imbalance as in humans – nine right-handers for one left-hander – is rare. For example, in great apes, according to some estimates, this ratio is 65/35.
These differences are reduced to the work of the nervous system, primarily the brain. The cerebral hemispheres are responsible for different functions. Why this is so is not fully understood.The main hypothesis is that duplicating functions would be ineffective. The brain accounts for only 2% of body weight, but it consumes 20% of energy, and a large head in babies complicates childbirth. Specialization, on the other hand, makes it possible to process information faster and even to carry out parallel computations.
It was once thought that right-handed people were dominated by the left hemisphere, while left-handed people were dominated by the right. In fact, not much is known about this. A recent experiment showed that right-handed people tend to suppress one hemisphere of the other, while left-handed people tend to work in concert.True, the participants performed only one simple task (pressed a button), and the difference in brain function was manifested only in the fact that left-handers, on average, coped better with their right hand than right-handers with their left. In other experiments, verbal abilities and orientation in space were tested: according to the first indicator, left-handers and right-handers do not surpass each other, but orient themselves slightly better than right-handers.
Left-handers are probably different from right-handers, but there is a lack of good research on this, and the difference does not seem to be as big as stereotypes say.Not all right-handers listen only to reason, just as not all left-handers have exceptional intuition and creativity. Dyslexia, schizophrenia and other disorders are indeed more common in left-handers, but this does not mean that left-handedness is a pathology.
Left-handers and right-handers began to be closely studied only a few decades ago, and technologies that allow peering into the brain appeared even later. But this is precisely why there is hope that scientists will soon be able to better understand why we are different and what that means.
90,000 16 facts you didn’t know about lefties
There are about 700 million left-handers living on the planet, who are special, and not only biologically. Despite the fact that there are many more right-handed people, this is not a reason to harass left-handers (even if they behave really strange). We’ve put together 16 interesting facts about left-handers that will tell you about some of the unusual aspects of their life.
On average, left-handers live 9 years less than their right-handed counterparts
This conclusion was reached by scientists who conducted research in 1991.The cause of high mortality is not poor health from birth, but suicides due to unstable psyche and accidents that befell left-handers in a world invented for right-handers. Currently, these studies are not confirmed
13 August – International Left-Handed Day
Studies have shown that left-handers are more likely to suffer from schizophrenia, dyslexia and alcoholism. We are not sure about the latter, most likely they do not suffer from it, but enjoy it
If a woman becomes pregnant over the age of 40, the chance of a child born to be left-handed increases by 130%, compared to if she became pregnant around the age of 20
The probability of having a left-handed child if both parents are right-handed is only 2%.If one of the parents is left-handed, the probability rises to 17%; both left-handed parents have left-handed children in 46% of cases.
Lefties are more prone to rebellion and crime. And, as a rule, left-handed children are much more stubborn than right-handed
At the same time, many left-handers have good musical ability and perfect pitch. They are also more likely to choose the professions of artists, painters and writers
There are far more left-handed men than women
Left-handers are considered outcasts in some cultures
In addition, in many languages the word “left” has a negative connotation and is synonymous with the words “awkward”, “fake”, “insincere”, “suspicious”
In some countries, such as Islamic countries, the left hand is “unclean” because it is used when washing after going to the toilet
In such countries it is especially difficult for left-handers
Left-handedness is a “devil’s mark” in some cultures around the world and left-handed people used to be punished for using the left hand
In some countries this is still practiced
Osama bin Laden was left-handed
Jack the Ripper was also left-handed
In contrast to him, left-handed people were: Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and many more famous people from various fields of activity
Lrrtm1 – the name of the gene that determines whether the child will be right-handed or left-handed
The number of left-handers on Earth is declining
In the Stone Age they were about 50% of the population, in the Bronze Age – 25%, and now – only 5%
Almost 90% of people on the planet are right-handed, and only 3-5% have a left-handed “leading hand”.The rest are ambidextrous (two leading hands)
There are scholarships worldwide for left-handers who study well
At Juniata College, Pennsylvania, USA, left-handers are entitled to a Frederick and Mary F. Beckley Scholarship. And the most successful left-hander will receive a prize of $ 1000
If a left-hander needs to learn to write with his right hand, he will do it much faster than a right-hander who needs to learn to write with his left
Interesting fact: the hand that a person writes with is not an accurate indicator of left- or right-handedness, as many left-handers use their right hand for writing and their left for other tasks
90,000 LEVSHA and RAVSHA – IPM Clinic for Children in Krasnoyarsk
How do left-handers differ from right-handers?
The difference between left-handers and right-handers does not end with the fact that they simply use different hands. It is worth remembering that these are different dominant hemispheres of the brain that affect the perception of information, a different attitude towards it, the abilities and behavior of a person.
The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for:
- concrete thinking;
- mathematical calculations;
- right arm and right leg; 90,062 90,059 speech;
- right eye and right ear; 90,062 90,059 reading and writing;
- motor sphere.
The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for:
- abstract thinking;
- shaped memory;
- left arm and left leg;
- rhythm and perception of music;
- left eye and left ear;
- orientation in space;
- sensual sphere.
Doctors say that it is possible to recognize a right-handed or left-handed person in a person only in the fourth or fifth year of life. However, psychologists do not agree with this statement, who say that left-handedness makes itself felt as early as the third month.Folk omens say that if, lying on his back, a child assumes the “fencer’s pose”, it means that he will most likely become left-handed; if the baby always strives to turn his head to the right, it means he will be right-handed.
Usually the test for left-handedness is carried out at the age of five, since until that time children can equally often use both their right and left hands.
Just because the child writes, draws and eats mainly with his left hand, it is not entirely correct to consider him left-handed, since a real left-hander is one who has not only a left hand, but also a left eye and a left ear – “leading”.
To understand which ear is the “leading”, the child is usually asked to take the alarm clock with both hands and listen to the clock ticking. The ear to which the child will attach the alarm will be the “main” ear.
To determine the “leading” eye, you need to roll a sheet of paper into a tube, give it to the child in both hands and ask through this “telescope” to look at various objects. The sheet will be brought up to the “leading” eye.
Should you retrain lefties?
Most professionals and parents believe that this is not only meaningless, but also harmful to the child, i.e.to. can lead to neurosis. Therefore, by retraining a left-handed person, we will unsuccessfully try to remake human nature. Even if the child is forced to learn how to successfully use the left hand, the leading hemisphere of the brain will remain the same. However, it is helpful to develop both hands, allowing the child to choose what to do with which hand.
– In 2008, British scientists discovered the “left-handed gene” – the LRRTM1 gene, which plays a key role in the formation of speech and emotions.
– According to archaeological data, after initially using both hands in the same way, an asymmetry occurred towards the use of the right.
– There is no unified theory explaining the reasons for the prevalence of right-handedness. French physiologist Xavier Bichat associates right-handedness with combat methods – since a person’s heart is in the left side of the chest, the warrior tried to cover the left (more vulnerable) part of the chest with a shield, and strike with his right hand.