Bits and Pieces
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Monday, December 20, 2004  

Left-handedness

...or for that matter, 'postural origins' is a fascinating subject. Mind hacks points to a source that says, "The mental ability for spatial reasoning was found to be related to the degree of the left-hand preference in conjunction with familial sinistrality". [in simpler terms non-verbial intelligence has something to do with the postural choice]

Alright, let's leave those complex explanations to the researchers. Interesting stuff that I culled from Mind hacks:

* Chimpanzee brains are asymmetrical just like ours and their handedness reflects it.

* Handedness must have arisen much before language centers developed in our brain, that is, about 5 million years ago.

* "...hand preferences come from our tree-dwelling past. One hand is mainly used for hanging on to branches, and the other hand used for finer, manipulative tasks like picking fruit." [ add to that, our brains are shaped like the canopy of the forest ]

[ the last blogger seems to have chosen the other left-hand to hang from branches ;) ]

In cricketing world, traditionally left-handed batsmen have held the highest Test Score record over years. Is it just their talent or simply that the right-handed opponent captain fails to read the batsman and set field accordingly? Talking about cricket, Ganguly played right-handed before the switch. There are other curious phenoms like Sachin, who writes left-handed but bats right-handed or Shastri who used to bowl left-handed and bat right-handed!

What explains ambidextrous nature of Gandhi and Da Vinci? Curious questions, really. Stop by Mind Hacks. Read your mind.

Related:
"Left-handers better in fights", that theorizes "societies which are more violent would have a higher frequency of left-handers".

This topic reminds me of something that I read long back on how right-handedness dominated armies used to march on the left side of their path, facilitating easy draw of the sword (which is usually tucked away on the left side) when needed. Hence the left-side driving pattern followed in Britain and other countries.

posted by pradeep | Permalink | (4)

4 Comments:

This is dicey territory. One half of the article talks about the "greatness" of the south paw. The other talks about the potential evil and violence attached to them. I shall just state that left handers are not necassarily violent.:)

And the world is still not very kind towards the lefties by continuing to make most common place items rightie friendly (the so called lefty customized versions are expensive)

By Blogger The Last Blogger, at 8:44 PM 

wish I were ambidextrous :-)
good one pradeep.

By Blogger saranyan, at 10:35 AM 

Thanks Paran, and yes I have always wanted to be ambidextrous too! Guess, it's a many a people's wish.

"...common place items rightie friendly"
- Good point Ranga. Only you could've pointed that. So have you changed settings on your computer mouse or do you use the default option? Just curious.

By Blogger pradeep, at 2:03 PM 

Handedness has nothing to do with intelligence, that just doesn't make any sense. First you need to ask what is intelligence, we know it when we see, but do we know what it is? Spatial reasoning, acuity of some kind, speed of mental adaptation. All these things are possibilities. Intelligence has to do with physiology, and skills developed though socialisation. Can it be measured ? Nope. Can we take a guest, well we'd like to believe that people who remember things, and can use their short-term memory to mentally manipulate objects are more intelligent. However, all these behaviours can be learnt. So that's not it. Handedness is genetic, but can be overcome....so your theory seems doubtful.

By Blogger stfu, at 2:10 PM 

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