Bad news for left-handed people everywhere…

Julius Caesar, Leonardo Da Vinci and Jimi Hendrix all had one thing in common. As well as being regarded as either the most influential, intelligent, or talented people who have ever lived, all three were left-handed.

So can it be true that being left-handed makes you more skilful and intelligent? Apparently not. In fact, a new study from Flinders University suggests the exact opposite. 

Professor Mike Nicholls has carried out research across the English-speaking world into cognitive ability and handedness. His conclusion is that left-handed people score consistently lower in aptitude tests than their right-handed counterparts. He even claims that being left-handed is cognitively equivalent to being born prematurely. All of this rather dismisses the “myth” that lefties are more likely to end up being gifted.

“The evidence, based on our analyses of very large databases of handedness and other attributes in people across Australia, the UK and the USA, doesn’t bear out that myth. Our study of members of the same family confirms that left-handed children will do worse than their right-handed siblings,” he said.

This is certainly a controversial theory. How and why should left-handedness be a sign of cognitive impairment? Well, the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right hand, and vice versa. And, according to Nicholls, the fact that the left hemisphere is responsible for more tasks than the right, puts left-handed people at a disadvantage. He describes it as being “most likely related to squeezing as many eggs as possible into one basket.”

Professor Nicholls is left-handed. 

Full story: IO9 Science http://io9.com/5809813/is-being-left+handed-actually-a-form-of-cognitive-impairment?tag=science

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About MRW

Physics person.

Posted on June 10, 2011, in Biology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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