Fri, 24 Feb, 2017
Why left-handed people think and feel differently
They may make up only 10 per cent of the population, but science has discovered that lefties can have a whole range of unique physical and mental traits.
Their brains are better at communicating
Everyone is familiar with the idea of left brain and right brain – each hemisphere processes information in a different way, and many people believe they are split between logic on one side and creativity on the other. There’s evidence to suggest that left-handed people have faster connections between the right and left hemispheres of their brain. This allows for information to be processed more quickly and is especially beneficial in tasks that require both sides of the brain to be used at once, like video games and sports.
Their emotions are organised differently
A study published by the journal PLOS ONE found that some emotions were reversed in the brains of left handers. It looked primarily at motivation, a basic emotion related to the emotional drive to approach or withdraw from stimuli. Traditionally, it was believed that approach motivation was processed in the left hemisphere and withdraw motivation in the right. This study found that these motivations are reversed in the brains of lefties. While this might not sound important, it gives an insight into how brains work differently. Many treatments for conditions like depression and anxiety target a specific side of the brain, so could actually be doing more harm than good for some.
They can be more creative
This one has been hotly contested for years, but many lefties claim that they are more creative than their right handed counterparts. And there is some truth in it. A study from the American Journal of Psychology found that left handers were drawn to careers in the arts, music, sport and information technology. They are also generally better at divergent thinking, which is the ability to think of multiple solutions to a single problem. This is considered a cognitive hallmark of creativity.
It can impact on their mental health
The news isn’t all good for southpaws. Even though they make up only around 10% of the population, studies have shown that people with psychosis or schizophrenia have a 20-40 per cent chance of being left handed. There is also an increased risk for dyslexia, ADHD and certain mood disorders. While no definitive evidence has been found, many scientists theorise that it has something to do with the way the brain is wired and the interactions between the two halves.
Are you left-handed? Have you found this to be true? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.