Research Into Left-Handedness And Its Effects

See our page of current lefty research and results

There has been a huge amount of research done into various aspects of left-handedness, often without much in the way of clear conclusions. We will be using this section to provide articles and links for you to see and to let you know of current research that is going on that you could possibly participate in.

If you are involved in research into left-handedness or its effects, please let us know and we will include details in this section.

We have a lot more information to go in this section, so check it again next time you visit us.

New age of genius led by left-handers! (Mar 2002)

Evolution may be in the process of delivering a new age of genius and creativity, with left-handers leading the way. Professor Chris McManus of University College, London has been researching the subject and is about to publish a new book called Right Hand, Left Hand. He is convinced that the proportion of left-handers is rising and left-handed people as a group have historically produced an above-average quota of high achievers.

He says that left-handers’ brains are structured differently in a way that widens their range of abilities and the genes that determine left-handedness also govern development of the language centres of the brain.

In Britain, around 13% of men and 11% of women are now left-handed, compared to just 3% of those born before 1910. There are a number of factors driving this increase:

  • Left-handers were severely discriminated against during the 18th and 19th centuries and it was often “beaten out” of people
  • In adulthood, left-handers were often shunned by society, resulting in fewer marrying and reproducing
  • As discrimination was reduced in the 20th century, the number of natural left-handers who stayed left-handed increased
  • The rising age of motherhood contributed as, statistically, older mothers are more likely to give birth to left-handed children

The professor says that the increase could produce a corresponding intellectual advance and a leap in the number of mathematical, sporting or artistic geniuses.

Unfortunately, it is not all good news for left-handers. They tend to be over-represented at both ends of the intellectual scale and as well as geniuses the group also produces a disproportionately high number of those with learning handicaps. There have been suggestions of links between left-handedness and dyslexia, stuttering and child autism among others.

Left-Handers Club comment…

We have had a lot of anecdotal evidence of an increasing proportion of left-handers among young children and our correspondence with members supports the view that left-handers are over-represented at both the top and bottom of the learning and achievement scale.

Now that left-handedness is not actively discouraged and young left-handers can obtain basic tools like pens and scissors to allow them to learn and express themselves in their own direction, most stay as left-handers and do not have their naturally creative advantages interfered with.

We have known Professor McManus and his work for the past 10 years or so and we will give further comment on his current project when the results are published in full. We also hope that he will give us some further background and personal comments that we can pass on to our members.

The Left-Handers Club is planning a major series of surveys this year which will aim to discover which activities and occupations groups left-handers are over- and under-represented in and the factors that affect this. We will be producing further information on this and asking for assistance very soon.

Ambidextrous tendencies may mean better memory

Source: New Scientist, 22 October 2001, James Randerson

Having a close left-handed relative makes right-handers better at remembering events than those from exclusively right-handed families, new research suggests. There is a downside, however, as members of these ambidextrous families may be relatively impaired in their ability to recall facts.

According to the study, having a left-handed sibling or parent means the organisation of your brain is intermediate between a pure ‘lefty’ and a pure ‘righty’.

Specifically, Stephen Christman and Ruth Propper at the University of Toledo, Ohio claim that people with ‘lefties’ in the family have a larger corpus callosum – the connection between the brain hemispheres. This makes you better at certain memory tasks, but worse at others, they believe.

Two types of memories are involved. Episodic memories are those with a context that is separate from the information itself – for example, where you parked your car or where you left your keys. Semantic memories on the other hand are things ‘you just know’, such as the dates of the First World War or the recipe for apple pie.

Filling the gaps

The researchers showed 180 right-handed subjects lists of words. Some of this group was asked to recall as many of the words as possible once the list had been taken away. This tests episodic memory because the subjects have to remember the words they were taught.

Others from the group were given fragments of words with a letter missing and asked to fill in the gaps. This semantic test simply relies on knowing how the correct word should be spelt. Subjects with close left-handed relatives did better at the first ‘remember’ task, but worse at the second ‘know’ task.

“The key difference is not whether you are right handed, but whether you are strongly or weakly handed,” explains Christman.

Making the connection

A definitive explanation for the results is still some way off, says Christman. But he suspects that it might involve the roles that different brain hemispheres play in memory. He believes the information itself tends to be stored in the left hemisphere, while the place and time context resides in the right.

Both these components will be useful in episodic memories, so he suspects that people with a large corpus callosum linking their hemispheres – such as those from more ambidextrous families – will do better at these tasks. Semantic memory requires only one hemisphere, so it may be that those with fewer connections between the hemispheres have less interference and perform better.

Chris McManus, an expert in handedness at University College London, agrees that people with left-handed relatives have a brain that is “slightly more like that of a left-hander”.

But he is sceptical about Christman’s explanation. The link between a weak-handedness and a large corpus callosum is “distinctly controversial”, he says.

Journal reference: Neuropsychology (vol 15 (4)

Ambidextrous: The worst of both worlds?

Leading British psychiatrist Prof. Tim Crow believes he can show that ambidextrous children are less intelligent than their peers – and his theory could even shed light on schizophrenia.

Unlike our closest genetic relative the chimp – who is truly ambidextrous – humans tend to heavily favour one hand and struggle to perform simple tasks with the less favoured. Prof. Crow, of the University Oxford, believes this difference could be crucial to the evolution of humankind around 137,000 years ago. The development of a division in function between the left and right sides of the brain – which result in our tendency to be right or left-handed – was a major factor in our leap from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.

“Handedness is the key dimension of human cerebral function,” says crow. “People who are truly ambidextrous are slower to develop verbal and non-verbal skills. It’s the predictor of both reading difficulties at the age of 16 and psychosis”.

For his study, Crow analysed data taken from 12,770 1 year old children taken in 1969 as part of the UK National Child Development Study. The children had been tested for hand preference, verbal, reading and mathematical ability. The test immediately resolved the age-old argument over whether right or left-handers are more intelligent : the answer is that there is absolutely no difference between them. What was startling was how badly ambidextrous people performed in the study – they did dramatically worse in all 3 tests. Youngsters who were extremely right or left-handed also tended to do poorly, but not as badly as the ambidextrous children.

“There seems to be an optimum level of handedness at which we perform best, although we are not sure what that is” said Crow. “Most of the variation in intelligence is to do with the degree of handedness in the child.”

Crow is aware these results may anger the parents of ambidextrous children, but he stresses that more research is needed to interpret the results fully. “The problem is that intelligence is a nebulous concept” he says. “These children may simply be late developers. Or they may be developing in a completely different way.”

Crow says that the gene responsible for encouraging specialist functions in one side of the brain, such as handedness, is what allows us to develop advanced skills, and without it the language centre of the brain would not have been able to develop. It is this development of language that differentiates us from the animals, and Crow’s research continues into pinpointing exactly which gene or group of genes this is.

The consequences of this could be controversial, since they raise the possibility that we may one day be able to manipulate the very genetic material which makes us human. However, although this gene may set us apart from the apes there appears to be a cost. Crow believes that the same genetic changes that allowed the development of language by creating imbalance in the brain also created the potential for schizophrenia. “It is the price that Homo sapiens pay for language” he says.

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63 Responses to “Left handed research”

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  1. MAnuel George says:

    My experience in a right handed school system was not good at all. Its a place where lefties do not fit at all yes some of us can make it through and do well. The thing in right handed school system one has to learn but not understand something like a piano player that can only play music from a music sheet. Take the music sheet away and the music stops lefties hardly learn like that. We learn to understand why then play buy ear. A lefty can see two things at once I will give an example if i draw a box the box can change shape on the paper to produce different views of the box. Righties have a hard time to produce this feat so left handed people in schools will come up with two answers one the righties can understand and the other that lefties can understand so when lefties answers in class they have a dilemma which answer is the right answer, they have to choose and if they choose the right wrong answer, yes you read that right say it again the right wrong answer according the to the righties perspective then the leftie is consided dumb. Imagine what that does to a person you begin to doubt yourself and consider yourself dumber than the other pupils. Its only when one makes it to university or collage is one required to have divergent thinking that should be taught in primary school for lefties and we do not mature later we were never given the the chance to mature at all.

  2. kerry says:

    my 10 yr old daughter writes english etc with her right hand and writes her maths with her left hand. School thinks she’s dyslexic i wonder if she’s swapped hands at some point because mostly everything she does is with her left, anyone else do this?

  3. Emily Ferguson says:

    My name is Emily Ferguson. I am left handed and I have always been at the top of my class in maths and art. I am now studying social care at college and have passed every exam first time. I am the only left handed student in my class and everybody comments on how lovely my writing and art work is. I do not know if this is because i am left handed but a lot of people seem to think so. My mum, dad and sister are right handed and my mum was very young when i was born, although my cousin, gran and grandad and auntie are left handed and my auntie went to art school and my gran and grandad are great at maths. Is this because the are left handed? I do not know but i would love to find out.

  4. Mitali says:

    i’m a final year u.g physiotherapy student and i am currently searching for a project regarding the difference in kinematics of right handed v/s left handed population or the relation b/w being a lefty and having problem with some instruments.
    can someone help me in finding refrences for either?

  5. Alice* says:

    “The researchers showed 180 right-handed subjects lists of words. Some of this group was asked to recall as many of the words as possible once the list had been taken away. This tests episodic memory because the subjects have to remember the words they were taught. Others from the group were given fragments of words with a letter missing and asked to fill in the gaps. This semantic test simply relies on knowing how the correct word should be spelt. Subjects with close left-handed relatives did better at the first ‘remember’ task, but worse at the second ‘know’ task.”

    I’m a southpaw, and I’m not good at remembering. I’m better at knowing.

  6. Connie Fornash-Burrows says:

    My own struggles to determine which hand to use for different tasks (ex. write left-handed, almost all else right-handed, mouse the computer w/both hands, etc.) have led me to wonder if there are many of us out there for whom a dominant hand did not emerge. Are there studies about such issues? I would be very interested to learn of others who had to choose, and may have had to revise, which hand to use.
    Thank you!

    • sarah says:


      I am also left handed. I use my left hand to write, and I eat with my right hand. I never knew being left handed means you are more intelligent but this will give me huge self esteem from now on.

      I am really bad at aiming, can’t use any of my hands in it successfully. Sometimes I throw with my left some times my right, undetermined.

      I forget a lot. I have a very selective memory. This is hard for someone who works in the academia.

      I respond to verbal conversations really slowly. It can take days to find the right answer to a conversation.

      • sarah says:

        I forgot to mention that my 3 year old daughter is also left handed.
        I usually catch myself jumping from topic to topic in a conversation. People don’t understand me. I believe I was pushed very hard to think like a right handed person. Although my mom never criticized me for being left handed, I hated school and learning from a very young age although my grades were excellent. When I went to college, I scored high in some classes and very low in others. Classes like architecture and engineering drawing were my favorite. But stuff that required memorizing were very hard for me. I liked any creative or artistic class.

        Now I am doing my Masters in computer science. I am still able to mimic right handed way of thinking, I can memorize I can write ugly proofs but am I happy with what I’m doing ? No. My advisor in my grad studies does not understand me. He thinks I am not focused enough. *** this. I just can’t keep up with the stuff you’re saying. I do a lot of good work but unable to present it to him in a way that he understands. I am not arrogant or saying I’m smart, I just can’t communicate with people. It’s hard, any suggestions my fellow lefties??

  7. Josh says:

    Of the top 4 students in my school (GPA wise), 3 of them are left handed, myself being one of them. The other two are also both my best friends, but I didn’t even know they were left handed until after we had become friends. Very weird how that happens.

  8. Shelly says:

    I am a left handed medical doctor. I have always excelled academically. No problems with reading or learning. My son is almost 3 years old and I suspect he’s a lefty too. I can tell he has a lot of intelligence but he is still not making conversations with us yet he can sing the whole alphabet and has an excellent memory. I was just wondering of the potential link with late talking and left handedness in boys. I myself spoke very early and did everything early.

  9. Julie says:

    Hi there,I know this might be a bit of a long shot but I am doing a project in college on discrimination on left handed people. I know many years ago it was a serious issue and people who were left handed where made to do everyday tasks with their right hand and got punished severely.Has times changed do you think or are they still discriminated.. I would really appreciate some feed back.
    Kind regards

    • Angel says:

      Hi Julie, I’m also doing a big project in college about the left handed, so probably we can help each other.

  10. Jacob says:

    Hello I am commenting regarding this subject for the reason of intrest. Just recently 3 friends and myself realized all four of us where left handed also in our twentys each of us being born from young mothers and multi racial. I myself am ambedextrious in many forms but im strong at some tasks left handed but also strong at many tasks right handed as a baseball player i was able to switch hit and pitch. Im wandering if anyone out there has done anymore research on the idea of strong handed people who are amnedextruous as well.

  11. Mel says:

    Wow this read and then reading the comments helps me to understand so much. I am left handed born into a family of few left handed. Its odd how it jumps around in the gene pool, my six year old is also left handed. Like me he also has ADHD and reading issues, his are worse then mine. We switch places of number and letters and our mind will only see what it wants to see not what is written. Due to this fact i never went past high school, i was told i would never even make it high school. Its nice seeing research being done into this, its also nice seeing the numbers of lefties coming back to normal. This has been very helpful.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Is there any correlation between left-handedness and the age of the mother (and/or the father), as in, the older the woman giving birth, the more likely the child will be left-handed? My mother was 42 and my father 60 when I was born. I am the only left-handed individual in the family, including cousins, going back to at least my grandparents on both sides.

  13. Moses Bakaswirewa says:

    I carried out a study on the perceptions of teachers about the intellectual abilities of left-handed students and their academic self-concept at Makerere University during my Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology. Results indicated that left-handed students were assessed differently in terms of their cognitive abilities because teachers’ rating of left-handed students’ intellectual abilities were lower compared to the right-handed peers. it was also discovered that left-handed students’ perceptions about their academic self-concept were found to be lower than the one of the right-handers.

    Request. How possible can you assist me to publish my Article on this academic dissertation regarding left-handers and right-handers?

    • Keith says:

      Hi Moses
      I have contacted you direct by email to see if we can do something with this research

    • Barb W. says:

      Hi I find your study very interesting. My almost 8 year old son writes left handed but is very ambidextrous, he kicks left footed, throws right handed, can play tennis with either (I’ve never actually had him try writing with his right but wen he was first learning to draw he would use both hand). He goes to an elite private school in the U.S., in Kansas City. For years I’ve been struggling with his teachers who want him evaluated for all kinds of learning disabilities. He has been evaluated for dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, and the results were he has no disorder. I tell them that he learns differently because both his brain hemispheres are being used which causes a confusion in his brain because he doesn’t have a true dominent side. He is excellent at math and spelling, but doesn’t like to read. His handwriting in print is sloppy but in cursive is the most beautiful writing I’ve ever seen, it’s perfect, you can’t tell the difference between the adult’s example and his copy. I feel like every teacher he has had at the school feels the way you talked about in regards to left handed kids, especially boys. I have talked to other parents who have older left handed boys and they say the same-their child was put through a battery of tests and evaluations only to find out there was nothing wrong with them, they just had a weak area and they learned a bit differently than the others. I also feel like left handed kids, especially ambidextrous kids mature a little slower academically because of the lack of one side not being truly dominant. My son is quiet, doesn’t like attention on him and does not have confidence in himself (I hear him say, I’m not as smart as jimmy, or I wouldn’t be as good as jimmy at that, he’s the smartest in our class). I am getting tired of his teachers not understanding the science of left handed/ambidextrous learners-they don’t conform to the same learning style as right handed learners. My husband is left handed and, like my son, hates to read, even for fun. Anyway, I would love to read about your research, I am a former teacher who is somewhat ambidextrous, and I struggled in school as a kid because I too had difficulty with reading comprehension, but maybe because I didn’t have a teacher that could change learning methods for me. That is why I became a teacher, because I felt none of mine understood that you have to teach to multiple learning styles. Anyway, would love to read your research!

  14. Dr Ahmed Fraz says:

    My son is 22.He is ambidextrous and writes with L hand.He never able to finish his written or practical exam in time during his studies.Despite of that he was among best 10 students of the class and got admission in Dentistry.Now his nightmare started.He never managed to finish his practicals in time.Due to that his teachers started getting worried and eventualy he was forced to leave the department.Theoritically speaking ambidextrous person could be slow learner but once he has learned and practice it then he could be better then R handed person especially in doing long procedure when R handed person can get fatigued but ambidextrous can swap his hands.Moreover those areas and angles where R handed person finds difficult to work ambidextrous can work easily.Do you have any authiticated researches which shows that ambidextrous student cannot become good surgoens or dentists.?

  15. sameer says:

    My name is sameer and i am from india. My age is 27 years and i am born “Left Handed” person. But in my childhood my mother insisted me to write by “RIGHT HAND”. I do every other activities by my left hand like sports, eating etc except hand writing. Now the problem is that i have discovered that i am very slow in handwriting speed and handwriting is also not that good. I cannot complete my engineering exam papers in time. I am able to complete only 60% of exam paper in given time of three hours. Because of this i am failing in some subjects. My question is that is it possible for me to increase the writing speed by rigorous practice or the time has gone and i should have discovered and rectified this problem in my childhood. If it is possible to increase writing speed what things should i try differently than just keep trying writing fast everyday.

    • Jessica Lee McKenney says:

      First of all Sameer, no issue is ever too far gone to be rectified. Nothing can ever not be fixed. Second of all (and this is all just in my opinion) yes, you absolutely can right faster… you are left handed… try to use your left hand. It may be difficult, but if you could get use to it, that’s the best accuacy you are ever going to have in writing. I only say this becuase I am left handed and being able to write fast/efficiently, was the only way I was able to graduate. But, (and I did not know until years letter when I had flashes and asked about it) when I was in kindergarten (sp) and first grade. I was the one who had to leave the class to go to a special room during school, because they thought I was slow at reading and writing. When we moved to Puerto Rico when I was in second grade. They were trying to put me back in first grade and I was told (yet again years later) that she said to just but me in her class and she would teach me how to write ( and maybe read but can’t quite remember. Anyway… one of the only two memories I have of that place (even though there are a few more) were, we were in class and we were learning about dinosaurs, and she would juat write notes on the board and we would just physically have to write them down. And I remember one specific moment, which I imagined now must of happened more often, and is probabpy even representative, where the entire class had to sot there over and over again, when she would be ready to erase the the chalk board and keep writing, and wait for me to catch up. Second memory is us studing for a talent show, which by the way, was done by the first through twelve grade school with only one class per grade because in private school because me and my sister did not know spanish. Even though im pretty sure alot of the other kids did kmow. Anyway, we this talent show, and when time came and we are on stage, everybody goes and kneels and slides to the right, and I kneel and slide to the left. Anyway, years later, I graduate high school a year early with honors, and just graduated college with my Bachelor’s in Political Science, with honors. And there are so many happenings inbetween the two I just discussed, but anyway, the point is, even if it takes you longer, or you do it differently, you can do it, and you will do it great. My e-mail is [email protected]

  16. Tim Bertrand says:


    I have a son who is ambidextrous and has trouble remembering and comprehending in school he is 9. Are there techniques that can help him to learn better. He tries so hard and really gets frustrated that he does not remember.

    I was thinking that both sides of his brain is working to solve problems and that it makes it hard for him to remember. Am I crazy in thinking this or is their research that may support this. I would like to give his teachers and myself some resources to help him.

    Thank you,

    Tim Bertrand

    • Kaitleen says:

      My mother and my little brother are both ambidextrous. My other brother is left- handed. we are all at or above genius level I.Q. but we all struggled in a normal schooling environment. Your son might do better being home-schooled (which I am now), or perhaps going to a charter school. Since he’s only nine he will probably do fine for now. My brothers and I started really struggling in seventh grade and had to leave public school by the eighth grade. As to tips and tricks, its not about him not remembering, its about how he remembers and how he perceives the information in the first place. Scent is one of the best memory triggers; so try having him smell something when he is learning whatever he is supposed to remember and then smelling it again when he needs to remember it. He could try putting a scented hand lotion on at both those times. word association is helpful as well. Also it may help him to try to memorize things in a different way; your son probably sees the world in a different way than his teachers and yourself. Its not about facts and logic for him, he lives in a different world, and so he perceives it differently but once it clicks for him he will excel very quickly. I was in special ed reading classes in the 2nd grade, after a few months it clicked for me and in the space of a few weeks I went form dead last to top of my class, by third grade I was reading college books for fun. I read the Biography of Winston Churchill cover to cover by the 5th grade. this was because reading was a chore when I was trying to learn it, but when I learned that reading was interesting and fun and I looked at it differently then everything changed, the whole world shifted and became sharper and clearer. That’s what happens when it “clicks” so to speak. The same thing happened to each of my brothers at some point. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your son had a mind like that of myself or of my brothers. Be patient with him and don’t try the make him see it the same way everybody else does, because it won’t work and if he gets stuck trying to do it that way he may never learn.

  17. Alexandra says:

    I am a 39 year old leftie writer/eater, who does (EVERYTHING) else with my right hand. I bowl right, bat right, use right handed scissors, etc. I can write with my right hand as well very legibly but it just takes a few extra seconds. I could read very well from a young age and devoured books well beyond my grade level. I was a published poet by age age 11 and was always told by my right handed family that I was “too artsy”. ? I remember when I was 11 being asked what my oral book report was on and when I replied (Brave New World by Aldous Huxley) my teacher laughed. This was 1984 and we had no computer so I read every book in the house including the encyclopedias lol. He thought I just grabbed a random book to report on and seemed angry after my report when he realized I had full comprehension of the novel. The funny thing is ” I never thought once that I was trying to “prove I was better than my right handed counterparts, I simply was bored out of my mind. I self taught myself piano and loved ballet so much I became a dance teacher for most of my life. Now I am writing full time. Yes, lefty/ambis can be moody and pensive. When we don’t answer right away it is because we are deep in thought, weighing both sides of our brains. Sometimes the moody emotional side blurts an answer and sadly sometimes we simply think waaaaaayy too much and analyze everything to death and become introverted and depressed. My husband is EXACTLY the same a lefty/ambi with moody tendencies who self taught himself piano and guitar but who is also a brilliant computer analyst. My point and biggest hope here is that people can try to be a little more open minded when it comes to lefty/ambi children and assist them in a learning style that best suits them instead of making them feel like broken toys that need right world rehabilitation. It is so amusing that historically (The left handed path is associated with “the devil”) because it is said lefties do not follow the status quo of society and will become personal anarchists lol. Well if thinking out of the box and being creative and seeking truth on all levels makes me an evil anarchist, I think the world needs ALOT more left/ambis…

  18. Callie Tippett says:

    Hi Im left handed!
    My mom is right handed, but my dad his dad and i are all left handed..
    And i hate how in elementary they made me use scissors right handed and to this day it still feels akward.
    I have spoken to a few people and where they first started going to school, (they were left handed)
    but the teacher forced them to right with there right hand.. My handwriting; people say it looks like doctors handwriting, I think it looks like chicken scratch..
    When i write my hand is kinda bent and i turn my paper sideways so its easier to write, i write at a slant kinda.. Am i the only one whos tried to play a DS and tried drawing with my left hand and not being able to move the character because the arrows are on the left handed side and not the right?…
    And i actually love reading and writing.. And i play an insturment.

    Also so i dont know if it was just me, but i got told all left handers do this when they first started school..
    They would write there name backwards?? Like mine would still come out like CALLIE but i just wrote from
    Right to left, but it still came out normal CALLIE

    • kaz says:

      hi callie, im doing research into lefthanded musicians (any ability) what instument did /do you play, and were you taught to play left or right handed (depends on instument)? do you know what ‘handed’ your music tuor was?

      Also 0000
      Im also a lefty, and have set myself on fire twice and electrocuted myself three times!(always an accicient i hasten to add) mmm maybe im researching the wrong thing! :)

      Any replies will be greatfully recieved

    • Jessica Lee McKenney says:

      All I know, is I thought I did not like reading and writing, especially because I found out right before I started, I could not read fast. And then after college I realized, its just because I learn differently. I’d rather spend an hour and fifteen minutes in class forcing myself to write every word and interupt when I don’t understand, than go home and it take an hournor two to read thirty pages. Andthis Iis because I learned, through my experience, that college is a system, and ninety percent of the time, if not a little bit more,the teacher Iin their lectures gives you everything you need to know throughout the entire semester, it’s a templete, that you can use to write every paper and take every test. And in my opinion, thats’s because the teacher already went through the material and picked out everything they thought was important, so why sift through the jungle trying to find the important information. (This is unless your teacher tells you to read the book or you would fail a test… etc, etc. But note there is a lot of trial and error in coming to this conclusion amd nothing is absolute. And as you get more information, you can change your analysisbon a subject. Anyway,also, I love music too, and the few times I have held a guitar, or even played guitar hero, I had to play with the neck of the guitar Iin my right hand, because only my left hand can strum, BUT, I have grown up so… I don’t know, backwards maybe, or it could just very well be me, but anyway, sometimes I go to do something as simple as cut a steak ( which there is a story to where that came about) and I can’t remember which hand I usually hold the fork or knife in, and sit there and switch between hands and can’t figure out shich one is it, and then sit and try to think about which way I do it when I am sitting there doing it subconsiously (sp).

      • Jessica Lee McKenney says:

        By the way, my whole reasoning for bringing up the music thing is that I absolutely love it too, but my intrument (sp) is singing.

  19. 00000 says:

    My cousin is left handed great with graphic design.
    However, he lacks common sense in regards to personal safety and the safety of others.
    He almost killed himself with fire. Common sense would tell us to back away or not even douse a fire with gasoline, but he did it anyway. Miracle he’s still alive. So no, lefties are not any more intelligent than right handed people are.
    I blame the Special Snowflake syndrome.

    • Kaitleen says:

      It wasn’t lack of intelligence which caused your cousins behavior. He simply sees the world differently. He could have been curious. It’s hard to explain but people with unusual and brilliant minds are often thought to be less intelligent. The funny thing is that the person thinking that cannot possibly imagine how much smarter than them this other person is. When he looks like he is staring into space he is more likely than not experiencing something only a genius can understand; it is a thought so complex, and yet so simple that it cannot be explained. It is both deep and obvious, a thought or idea that is just so purely what it IS that it cannot be put into words. It is one of the most irritating things about our lives. We are thought to be stupid because we can’t explain it, but the truth is that even if we could nobody would understand it. SO we pull into ourselves and go to that place in our minds where we can just THINK, and be in our own world and not have to try and explain it, only understand it, we can just sit there and look at things and SEE things and how beautiful the world is. I never understood how other people see the world, I can sit outside and just stare at the sky for hours and go to that place in my mind and think about the world and I could stay there forever, but there is never enough time. People don’t understand and they just pull at you from every direction and do everything in their power to STOP you from thinking. Or to FORCE you to think a different way, but our minds don’t work that way, and people don’t understand us so they simply draw the only conclusion that their minds can handle; that we just aren’t as smart as you.

      • John K Mawson says:

        Hi, my name is John, 50 years of age, and am left handed. If I use an implement for one hand I always use my left but for two handed items I use it right handed, Guitar, Golf club, Hokey stick, Rifle. Scissors will be used with my left hand even if they are right handed, it just hurts a bit on the thumb. As for Schooling well let’s just say I was a late developer writing and comprehension skills were only average and I’ve always had a problem with remembering spellings but as for creative skills using my hands and applying imagination has always been easy and I have made a career from it. What I really like about your comment is the sitting and thinking aspect of life, I too can sit endlessly thinking about all sorts of things which are carefully thought out, are logical and make since. What I have noticed about my self often is when I have had to explain a situation quickly , my mind is all over the place and what comes out of my mouth is only half of the facts and worce still not really the important ones. Only after do I realise what I should really have said. It’s a complicated thought process and difficult to really explain. I have often thought I was an underachiever but thats not really true, give me a 3 dimensional problem to get over or adjust I can do it easy and mostly I don’t need paper to work it out. It’s true what you say it’s sometimes better to withdraw into your own world rather than try to explain your ideas or thoughts, it saves seeing the blank expressions on peoples faces.

  20. Primrose says:

    Hi, I’m a 40 yr old Leftie and a
    Mother of a 5 year old Leftie Boy…. He is in his second year of school( his birthday falls in August and he started school just as he was 4) and teachers have identified he is very intelligent. Acedemically he is extremely bright..! However he doesn’t seem too keen on writing and expresses this daily..! He told me he is sad because he is always last to finish his writing tasks in school etc..! His daddy and I have spoken to his Teacher and asked te obvious question… Are you aware he is Left Handed..! They are..! Out next question was to ask what support he is receiving to enable him to write in a
    Way that assists him.. For example : tilting the paper to the right when writing..we were told nothing needs to be done other than a little extra time to keep up with his handwriting..! We feel that this is not enough and need guidance / tips from anyone out there with similar issues..! Advice would be greatly appreciated..!

    • jet says:

      Hi Primrose, was so great to find your story.My son is 5 and started school a few months ago. All kindy and daycare teachers felt he was ready for school. I told the school he is left-handed last year but like you said, he also received no assistance. He tells me often that he finds writing boring and I have read this may mean he needs physical training to strengthen the arm for writing. We are doing writing with a finger in shaving cream on table to strengthen/ loosen up.Also got left-handed tools online and left-handed letter formation guide. I eventually went in and showed the principal the equipment and told her we are home training him with teacher aware with the correct LH style. Be his tactful advocate because the schools need parents like you. On top of that, my son is also colourblind so I have been very busy this year. Once again, I needed to learn all about it and felt none could advise me better than what I learnt myself.

    • Connie Lillejord says:

      Hi – I am a left-handed occupational therapist (also, ambidextrous). I work in pediatrics and have spent many years working with kids who need handwriting help. My favorite easy hint for helping teachers and the young kids they need to teach is to place two pieces of masking tape on the student’s desk. The tape is placed in an “inverted V ” on the student’s desktop. At the junction of the V – where the two lines come together – this is where the upper left hand corner of all of there papers are placed. Now – the student has the paper in the correct position for handwriting.
      This should be taught in pre-school on up!!!!
      Generally, I have found right handed teachers need help in knowing how to train the left handers in their classes.

  21. Sharie says:

    I am the only left handed person in my family. This includes all paternal & maternal relatives both older & younger than myself. My parents were young when they had me, and they did not have anymore children. After I was grown, I married a right-handed man and we produced four right-handed children. When I started school, I was given some odd scissors that I could not use. I was informed that these were “left handed scissors”. I had always used the scissors granny would let me use to cut paper (as opposed to her haircutting scissors or scissors for fabrics only). Other “lefties” in school turned their wrists in an odd way, but when I wrote it looked like a mirror image of someone writing right-handed. One day, a substitute teacher would not accept my work. She gave it back and insisted that I do it “right” with the correct hand. It took only a few minutes to recopy the work, and I handed it back to her. She became very angry, and I didn’t know why. Working with my right hand, I started on the right side of the paper, and the results would have been perfect – if she had held it up to a mirror to read it.

  22. Emily says:

    My dad and I are both left handed and my mom, sister, and brother are righties. It is kind of awkward for me and my dad, because we always have to sit on the same side of the in restaurants. I believe that handedness is genetic, because my day and i both do everything left handed except for kicking a soccer ball. My dad is also the oldest child just like me.

  23. someone1234 says:

    @ valerie hoyle
    Im your opposite. I can write with the left, and am better with the right hand than my friends are with their left. I shoot hoops with my right, but play tennis with my left hand. I can bowl with both of my hands but cant even handle a pair of scissors in the left hand. As for the patterns idk, im not even 40 yet, but the learning part is the same for me. I hate it when teachers make me do sth i dont want to do. I feel more comfortable at hearing and memorizing than talking and messing up. As ironic as it may sound, especially because of my last comment, i was best at english and also corrected teachers. History and geography are the most difficult for me, but i was still first of class, even in PE. I was like the girl who can do anything

  24. someone1234 says:

    Im also left handed and i couldnt spell words correctly until i was 9 years old. I used to have problems spelling words that had “s” in them( like sun, or sword), words like “this” and “that”, and couldn’t say the letter “k” when it was used in words. Instead i replaced “k” with “t” (like, instead of saying car i said tar). When i entered first grade my mom started working with me and helping me with the pronounciation. Now i talk normally, but have a very slight problem saying the -tch like in the word “ditch”. I wonder if there really is a connection between being left handed and having language problems, even though i colod read perfectly by first grade. Has anyone else had a problem like mine when you were younger?

    • Kaitleen says:

      my little brother is ambidextrous and he was so bad that we used to have a speech therapist for him, he’s 11 now and he’s understandable but its still there, just not as bad; more annoying than anything else.

  25. Valerie Hoyle says:

    I write with my right hand. But can write a little with left.. better than average for right handers. I noticed in the past I played golf left handed, tennis right. I shoot left handed.. don’t do that any more.. Cricket left handed. baseball left handed. I am 64 now so really don’t do much of those things any more. I sew and knit, crochet etc. But cannot read patterns. They confuse me. I can see a shirt and know how to put a collar on by looking at it but cannot follow pattern instructions to do so. I can see how things are done and work out a way to do them. During the years I have gone to classes to learn how to do things but not participated, just watched. It was really frustrating because the teachers always want you to get on with it and ‘give in a try.’ I tried to explain but they didn’t ‘get it.’ I am self taught in many things because that is how it had to be. I would say I am above average intelligence and it drove parents and teachers crazy,, Anyway.. anyone out there like me? I only met one and it was my father.

    • Talana says:

      Valerie I am exactly like you, write right handed but did all other activities with left hand and also unable to follow patterns better at watching and figuring out on own.

  26. Arthur says:

    I am a lefty as well, I had a very hard time reading when I grew up, I also had to grow thick skin. It takes time. There were things that helped me. I had lots of work done with me to get me going but until i wanted badly it did not happen The reading at least. The spelling is still a problem. I was against it because it was to hard to it gets boring and I do not want to do things that were boring as a kid growing up when people would finish faster then me do what they wanted to do. I was like this till HS. in High school I discovered a program that was made by someone. It worked magic for me. What happened in the program it thought me to move my eyes faster across a page and it was made to learn how to speed read. I was using it to lean how to read better and more effectively. I think the name of the program is EyeQ from Japan. It helped me a lot. There is a lot of other things that you will need to improve his skills.

  27. daniel says:

    when i was young i was beaten up to write with my right hand. i was born left handed and i took that from my mum…because i was beaten up now i write with my right hand and work with my left…it doesn’t matter which hand you write with…we are all unique and we shouldn’t have to suffer just because we write with a left hand…if they made me write it my right hand the teacher that beat me up should try and write with their left hand to see if she can do it…i doubt she could do it

    • Abigail says:

      Me too! I am a lefty…the only one in my family…my granpa was too but he died long ago. I was beaten at school and made to write with my right and now i write really excellently with my right. I was also criticized about eating with my left and now i eat with my right. Apart from that, i do everything else with my left. Now i’m really worried that that must have had an influence on my slowness in life…

  28. Yvette says:

    I have an 11 year old son that is dyslexic. (by the way I am left handed). I have been finding research that states that left handedness in the family could have some type of connection. We always knew that he was smart but has always had a problem with reading and spelling. I have tried many times to convince the school that there is something causing his reading problem. They simply want to check him for ADD, which he doesn’t have. He isn’t having a problem with anything they do orally, just if he has to read. We kept him back in Kindergarten because he was not reading to a level we felt he would be able to make it through the 1st grade. I am a masters student and have 4 other older children that have no issues, what is it that could be different with him. I have tried every thing I can think of at home to make it easy for him but I feel like that is holding him back because I am simply reading for him. I know that is not necessarily a good thing but I don’t think it is fair for him to sit at a table for 3hrs doing one reading paper that should only take him 20 minutes. So I read it to him and then he does the work. The teachers don’t seem to want to help me figured out how to help him learn how to over come this problem and my research doesn’t seem to be helping me on what I should be doing to make it easier for him to read. Any information would be helpfull.

    • autumn says:

      My son Dylan is 5 and he is lefthanded. He is righting allot better but some times he goes back to the mirror image. His kindergarden teacher feels. That. His read could be better. I took him for a comperensive eye exam and found that he has compound astigmatism so he is wear glasses before march is spelling tests were below good now he has brought home 100s the first one made me cry as weeks went on I sow hew was picking up more but read still is hard I read the article about lefthanedness and I mad copies to his teacher and principal and all that work with him. His brother is only 10 mounths younger and he is regestered in this years kindergarten and know I am getting him tested before he starts because this year has been hard and they both have 2years of preschool in the State of new York there is no law that States childeren have to go to kindergarten but I feel the more schooling the better that’s way I put them both in full day preschool. To get them ready for full day kindergarden and I work as a lpn went to college in medical asstanting and took child course. I think that the school should have more for our kids and it scould be 1 staff member per 5 kids it would help allot like preschool 15 kids 1teacher 2 aides in each class. I know hows going to pay for it and there are people out there that go to college to become teachers or aides and cant find work the government needs to look at this big picture to make schools better. It seems like they wont to get high scores but they don’t know how to teach it or if our kids are not picking things up as fast as they wont it there is some thing wrong. Did keeping your son back did it help

    • kaz says:

      hi yvette,
      maybe you have this problem sorted by now, but I was in an identical situation with my son. His dyslexia was not identified until he went to college. he found a coloured acetate sheet helped him read. he explained this as on white backgrounds the letters seemed to fidget about which made focussing a slow painfull process. He seems to have adapted well as an adult and is an avid reader now. The biggest problem he had was lack of school support which drained all his confidence. Focus on all his good points and boost his confidence wherever you can. He will find his way in the world. good luck and best wishes :)
      He has a son of his own now, who is showing at 4 months he a lefty too :)

    • barbie says:

      Does he have an IEP??? He needs extra time and help with reading!

  29. EVIE says:

    I am the only left hander in my whole family! Through out the generations everyone but me has been right handed. It’s not easy being left handed we do things very differently to right handers but we are all amazing!!!

  30. vita says:

    lefties rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh yeah people i am left handed dont ever messs with me otherwise i will beat you up i am a girl people say i am a poo head i am NOTa poo head if you agre that iam not a poo head you will get free cookies my mean friend ashley said that to me 5 times and blamed it on chole (another girl in my calss i am only in primary school) i want stand up to ********* chloe

  31. EFHerne says:

    I’m sure psychosis has NOTHING to do with ambidextrous people. Psychosis is far more indicative of upbringing. You cannot solidly predict this disorder genetically–there are too many contributing factors.

    Please allow me to present another theory–ambidextrous people are constant wafflers. Because their brain is in a perpetual state of ‘split-decision’ this makes the ADULTS around these children PSYCHOTIC because adults are always demanding that children “pick a side” or “make a decision NOW” or “do it or else.” These attitudes and their lack of patience–like how doctors have always been with Autistics–is FAR MORE DAMAGING THAN BEING AMBIDEXTROUS. Autistic children often suffer from a form of post traumatic stress disorder due to abuse via “the Village.” It is more common and pervasive than the disorders themselves.

    Cure the Village’s ill-thinking, and the Autism and brain damage WILL take care of themselves. If this were untrue, then so many Mom’s wouldn’t have figured out how incredibly intelligent their Autistic children are–even if they are retarded. Doctors simply locked these children up and experimented on them. If you’d like to know exactly how intelligent ‘mentally retarded Autistics’ are–as Sue Rubin. She has quite a story to tell.

  32. rather sailing says:

    I am a left hander and an aquired ambiudexter. I am almost 60 years old, I have a son 25 who is a lefty. What made me started to investigate is my grand niece who is 2.5 years old.
    She is exremely smart appears ot be ambiudexter and multi tasker.
    I am technical, educated and statistically knowledgable person. All the studies according to my reading points out the data collection at ages 8 and 16.

    I believe the resarchers are missing the boat by not studying the kids eralier then age 8. It is my belief that the results they are achieving that shows ambiudexters to be brain dead. They are too late to discover the smartness in these kids, why; at age 8 kids are alread fallen behind of an average kid due to environment and lack of knowledge from parents and teachers to give them the correct support in advanced learning. At age 7 they are baranded as ADD or ADHD or AD without HD. This happened to my oldest son. When child study cented professor tested him his IQ was way above average and he was diagnosed with AD without HD. It turned out the drug they gave him did not work. His pediatrician was at all time disagreement with the diagnoses. Later on it turn out tomato was part of his problem (thanks to my wife who discovered it) We home schooled him.
    He does not have alot of friends but he is a quick learner and out of 4500 students and teachers at his high school he was the oly one self thought and programmed an industrial robot and won state championship two years in row. He was behind at school at age 8 and untill we home schooled him.
    So, all the scientists who are out there studiying a population and using data provided by school counsellers are not wrong but chosing a wrong population.
    The analysis of data is, to do something with the data not to point us what is or where the problem is. We should use data to improve.
    Younger children under 7-8 should be the focus and we should develop a program that should take these ambiudexter kida to a next level of advancement not to their discurragement by we not knowing what to do. They desrve it, they are your and my kids.

    • rakesh says:

      it is really true that always all person left handed is minded to compare right handed how it is scientifically true………….

  33. Vbfanatic says:

    Im ambidextrous, yet I am one of the smartest kids in my grade. I have the highest GPA and i read well above the average reading level for people my age. In first grade, I completed the required reading material within a few months, and my teacher gave me higher level books to read.

  34. DopeyRose says:

    I agree w/ joshXv:) I am a lefty and my step brother would have been, had his mother not tied his hand behind his back before she met my Father (psycho). We had the most fun w/ make believe and inventions while my other two brothers, (righty’s) were more serious and just kinda went with it all. Also, its interesting about the ambitdextrous bc my son is two yrs. old and has Agenesis of the Corpus collussum, which mean he is missing the connection all together. He has excelled to a 3 yr. old level in every area but one after a slight delay (nd panic on my end as to how he would be affected mentally),but he did not talk. Rather, could not, or would not, havent figured it out yet. Nothing, no sounds, no babbling like most babies, no mama, dada…until about two months ago. He went from sounds to one syllable owrds maybe one a week, and now seems to be increasing his learning at an incredible speed. one word a day, now three or four a day. He learned to talk in only two months!! Loved this article, very interesting, eager to do a little more digging

    • Ksnyder says:

      I am also ambidextrous, I can remember when I was four coloring and using both hands, my mother told me I need to pick only one hand, I asked her which one because they both felt comfortable to me, she told me the right hand. Now I write with my right and 50% of my activities are done with my left. I believe that both sides of the brain are active and working, unlike our counterparts. Most likely this is not a sign of slow development or low IQ but possibly a sign of intelligence.

  35. narayan mahat says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    My grandson is now 4 years old and joining at kindergarden school. He writes by left hand and loves to active his left hand in most of time.He uses his right hand in daily activities only in presser by parents.I am worry about his left hand writing. Hence,shall I try to right hand writing instead of left hand writing or leave it to write by left hand, which is best ? kindly could you suggest me by email .
    Thanks and regards,
    N . Mahat

  36. doc crusader says:

    Do ambidextrous persons/ women have larger corpos collosum of the brain which interacts between right and left sides?
    A 15 yr old or longer study showed between heterosexual males, homosexual males and females that the corpos collosum of the female was the largest, the homosexual male the smallest and the homosexual male somewhere in between.
    This may account for the fact that women can multi task paying bills with playing/supervising the children while their husbands can only do left brained work, like accounting or whatever single focus they do.

    Are there any studies that relate size of corpus collosum with ambidextrousness in females; or males; or monkeys who are ambidextrous.

    Ths from a lifetime natural athlete, female, ambitdextrous, only one in the family or even left handed), creative, multiasked, color coding, natural gps for locating materials in my office without files and cabinets, also a scholarly post grad researcher seeking colleagues and answers and more questions.

    • doc crusader says:

      Oops! Typo error.
      Study showed corpus collosum of heterosexual males was the smallest (cc= integrator of both sides of brain, linear and creative).
      The size of corpus collosum that was the largest was of females.
      The mid-sided corpus collosum was found in homosexual males.

  37. […] out of the past five American presidents have been lefties. Some researchers even conclude that the left-handers will lead a new age of genius. "Nowadays anyone with any kind of disability can live a normal life and do anything any other […]

  38. Lefty says:

    The last two paragraphs greatly discredit the article “best of both worlds”, specifically the statements “this gene” and “the gene”. Very few of what we consider traits or phenotypes are actually controlled by a single gene. Animal and plant development is usually a combinations of genes which some times combine in predictable outcomes, sometimes unpredictable (epistasis).

  39. Left handed right hand spiral « Imagin8tion says:

    […] According to the psychologist Marian Annett, more than twice as many artists, musicians, mathematicians, and engineers are left-handed than would be expected by chance. And about 10 percent of left-handers suffer from language disorders and reading disabilities, while only 1 percent of right-handers do.  Of the remaining 10 percent, about half are “strongly” left-handed. About 5 percent of the global population are right hemisphere dominant. In Britain, around 13% of men and 11% of women are now left-handed, compared to just 3% of those born before 1910. […]

  40. […] neural pathways ~ Chris Mcmanus, University College London; Right Hand, Left Hand, by Chris Mcmanus The good news? We can rebuild […]