Left-handers quick thinkers, study shows

@moneymind (10524)
February 18, 2007 2:13am CST
Left-handers quick thinkers, study shows... AM - Thursday, 7 December , 2006 08:32:00 Reporter: Kathryn Roberts TONY EASTLEY: Are you a southpaw, a mollydooker? Well, according to researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra, left-handers tend to use both sides of the brain more easily and may perform better than right-handers at fast or complex tasks. It could give them a leg up, or rather a helping hand, when it comes to sports, computer games and complex tasks likes piloting a fighter jet, or maybe cricketing, like Adam Gilchrist or tennis great Rod Laver. But does that explain Microsoft's Bill Gates, or even Henry Ford? And what about Jimmy Hendrix? Oh, and da Vinci. Kathryn Roberts reports. KATHRYN ROBERTS: Left-handers may make up about 10 per cent of the population, but it remains a right-hander's world. Scissors and kitchen utensils are made for those who think right is right. Even writing is a hazard for left-handers who work hard to avoid smudging the ink on the paper. In fact, it wasn't so long along left-handed school students were made to write with their weaker hand. But now comes some good news for southpaws. Dr Nick Cherbuin is a neuroscientist at the Australian National University who says left-handers have brains that are wired slightly differently from right-handers, and that may give them some advantages. NICK CHERBUIN: There is one large connection between the left brain and the right brain, and it tends to be somewhat larger and better connected in left-handers, and it has to do as well with the shape of the brain. There are more left-handers who have brains that are more symmetrical, where the left side is more equal to the right side, whereas in right-handers one side tends to be larger than the other. KATHRYN ROBERTS: So what exactly does that mean? The researchers studied the reaction times of 100 volunteers to two computer tasks, which measured the speed of transfer between the left and right sides of the brain and the quality of the interaction. Dr Cherbuin found that the left and right hemispheres communicated faster in left-handed people. NICK CHERBUIN: Those people who have more efficient interactions between the two sides of their brain tend to perform better at complex tasks that require more resources, and when one side of the brain runs out of processing power it recruits more processes from the other hemisphere. So those tasks that are very complex or that require very fast processing tend to be helped by spreading the load across the two sides of the brain. KATHRYN ROBERTS: He says left-handers might be better at playing computer games, driving in traffic, or piloting a fighter jet, and may even have an advantage in old age. NICK CHERBUIN: It's possible that with resources decreasing in each side of the brain, due to the aging process, having more efficient hemispheric interactions might help you perform better in old age. TONY EASTLEY: ANU researcher Dr Nick Cherbuin ending that report from Kathryn Roberts. greetings. : )
1 response
@Zamboni (160)
• Canada
18 Feb 07
I totally agree.My son who is left handed is also amnidextrix (prob spelt wrong).He was tested in school.He can also write with his right hand.One day out of the blue he wrote his name backwards AND upside down.