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293/365 – Left handedness

Possible advantages of left-handedness  

Some studies have shown that “…left-handers also tend to have unusually good visual-spatial skills and the ability to imagine spatial layouts.”

Santrock goes on to point out that mathematicians, musicians, architects, and artists are more commonly left-handers than would be expected.

“Also, in one study of more than 100,000 students taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), 20% of the top-scoring group was left-handed, twice the rate of left-handedness found in the general population (10%). Left-handedness may also reduce the risk of developing arthritis.

However, Hardyck and Petrinovich reviewed a large literature and found no overall differences in mental ability in right-handers and non-right-handers.

Other reported associations include with higher creativity, a larger corpus callosum, certain right brain regions being larger, shorter transfer time of information between hemispheres, and higher socioeconomic status.

Possible disadvantages of left-handedness  

Although there is little association with children’s school performance in regards to handedness, some studies have shown problems in language development in left-handers.

Research has shown left-handers are more likely to have problems with reading and they also “…don’t do as well on phonology (the sound system of language) tasks…” when compared with right-handers.

Also, in left-to-right languages, as the left-handed writer moves their left hand across the place where they have just written, smudging may occur, though this was mainly a concern in older technologies such as fountain pen usage. This situation is reversed in right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.

Other reported associations that may have decreased evolutionary fitness include shorter adult height, lower weight, puberty at a later age, possibly a shorter life expectancy, increased risk of accidents, increased risk of certain neurological and immunological disorders, and decreased number of children.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handedness

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