Stupid Scissors

painted-handprints

Anybody who read that and understood is like me, a small part of the population who is left handed (10%). We have difficulties daily living in a right hand world.  Did you know 85% of lefties consider themselves more awkward or clumsy than average? Compared to righties, us lefties score a tenth of a standard deviation lower on measures of cognitive skills. We also tend to have more learning disabilities such as dyslexia and score lower on standardized tests. Though scientists have yet to find an answer to what causes the “south paws” our brains explain a lot of our differences, what is inherited versus what is learned.

The right hemisphere is the non-dominant area for speech and language yet those who are right brain dominant tend to be left handed. Ever hear the saying “if the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, then only left handed people are in their right minds?” Yeah it sounds cute but what it really means for us lefties is we usually have impairments in perception, attention and language deficits compared to that of the right handers. Since right handers use more of their left side of the brain their language abilities are strong and make languages easier. The language system is complex. Not only does it involve speaking but also reading, writing and how we acquire new information.

Brain lateralization means each hemisphere has specialized functions like speech and language. In the standard right hander’s brains, the left hemisphere tends to be larger and more developed. Broca’s area and Wernicke’s are can be up to three times larger. The cortex is also found to be larger (which controls movement). The left side all together is bigger and the links more connected tend to lead to a quicker response time than that though the right hemisphere.  As a leftie we are wired to be better at recognizing things, people, places, and a better understanding of spatial relations. With that we have a number of abilities and disabilities. Left brained people tend to be logical, rational and organized while right brain people are creative, imaginative and artsy like in fields such as architects or math you see a rise in left handedness (right hemisphere cognitive skills). We also see a higher number of learning disabilities.

 

brain

Is there a single gene directed for this dominance? This is a question that has baffled scientist and as a leftie I can’t wait for more research to be done. No one in my family is left handed so I am curious how, why it happens. Am I really going to die younger? Lefties are prone to accidents, psychiatric disorders and neurological disorders! We make up a large statistic for a small group in a large population.  We are weird, artistic, irregular, emotional and clumsy but we do have a special day for a reason (August 13th)!

For fun quiz!

http://testyourself.psychtests.com/bin/transfer?req=MnwzMTc4fDMwOTc2NTB8MHwx&refempt=

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Geschwind, N., & Behan, P. 1982. “Left-Handedness: Association with Immune Disease, Migraine, and Developmental Learning disorder.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 79(16).

Lindell, A. K. 2011. “Lateral Thinkers Are Not so Laterally Minded: Hemispheric Asymmetry, Interaction, and Creativity.” Laterality, 16(4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “Stupid Scissors

  1. Lisa Chase-Miller

    As a fellow south paw, I chose your blog to comment on 🙂

    My grandmother is left-handed and was the matriarch of our family when she was alive. She had 8 children, 19 grandchildren and 28 great grand children. I am one of the 19 grandchildren and out of all of these people, I am the ONLY person who Is left-handed! How can this be? I have 4 children under 5 and I am hoping one of them will be left-handed…I feel alone in my struggle! (Kitchen gadgets are awful…someone needs to invent a left handed vegetable peeler!)

    I remember in grade school how my teacher was instructing the class on how to write in cursive. She showed us the proper way to hold a pen and instructed us to angle our writing paper in a slight counterclockwise direction, so that the bottom left corner of the paper was pointing directly at your heart. I knew I was left-handed and everything was backwards for me so I turned my paper in a clockwise direction so that the bottom right corner was pointed at my heart. Immediately my teacher rushed over to my desk and asked why I wasn’t following directions. I told her I was left-handed and by turning the paper in the direction she wanted, didn’t work for me. She insisted that everybody learns to write cursive with the paper turned counterclockwise. Apparently I am the first left-handed kid in her class?? I was confused and embarrassed to be singled out in front of the class like that. And everyone knows that when you are a lefty, your hand drags across the paper and smudges all of your work. She had a field day deducting points off of my homework, ever since I refused to turn my paper the way she wanted.

    I remember using scissors in school and they were only for right handed people. I eventually learned to just use my right hand to save me trouble. When I was younger I tried to force myself to write with my right hand just so I could be like everyone else. I couldn’t do it. It was so hard and my left hand was so strong and dominant.

    By the time I hit middle school, I found out that being left handed was pretty cool. I joined a softball team and found out I am a power hitter. Not only could I hit hard, I was a left handed batter. If you play softball, you know the outfielder in right field is usually the weakest player. You see them out there twirling their glove or picking daisies. Guess where I aimed my hits? Oh yes… that was the moment in my life when I realized that being left handed was a gift. My team and my coach loved me.

    I took the quiz that you posted and my score was exactly 50%. Apparently I use both sides of my brain when it comes to problem solving, thinking, making decisions, etc. That sounds about right! I honestly don’t think being left handed makes me any different from right handed people. Most of the stuff I hear (more psychotic disorders, die young, etc.) seems debatable! If only 10% of the population is left handed, that’s a pretty small amount of people to compare to the right handed population.

    I was not aware that August 13th was National Left Hander’s Day… a new way to feel special in world full of righties !

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