The Left Hand (Left-Handedness)

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Anonymous

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#91
Re: Re: Bi-dexterity

Niles Calder said:
Of course bi-dexterity could cause that form of dyslexia... I couldn't comment.
Hmmm. That's interesting. My daughter appeared to be ambidextrous and wrote R's. B's S's and D's backwards. About the same time she settled into right hand dominence with her writing and drawing, the difficulties with the letter formation disappeared.

And yes, I had 3 ultrasounds during my pregnancy.
 

rynner2

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#92
Orbyn said:
Wasn't there a similar thread, elsewhere, aeons ago?
Yes, TWO, actually! So now all three have been merged into this one.

Oh - BUMP!
 

Daftbugger1

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#94
I'm right handed, but also left footed. Cartwheel and handstands I can only do using my left foot. My Mum always complaining that I do some odd things with my left hand, such as dealing cards.

BTW I also used to write my letters backwards. Dyslexia didn't exist in those days. Still do occainsionally write letters backwards, when stressed (ie in exams) or when I'm not thinking.
 

Daftbugger1

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#95
Oh, yes, since starting jiu jitsu, I have found that most people can't tell their left from their right. It's quite scary really.
 
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Anonymous

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While I was in San Francisco recently I had to go out of town to a friend's wedding; the Greek taxi driver on the way back from the reception was hopeless -- kept taking the wrong exit off the freeway, then turning into the wrong road and getting onto a one-way system which meant we had to go through it over and over....

"I stop meter here. I get off freeway."
"Okay, now turn left here."
"Here?"
"Yes."
"Left?"
"Yes."
"Okay." (Turns right).
"Um, no -- your other left."
"Okay." (Backs out, takes the left turn.) "Here?"
"Yes!"
"But that is right!"
"Yes, thanks, how much is it?"
"No, *right*, this is *right*, not *left*, crazy English lady!"
(Weary) "Okay. My bad."

Tip him? Did I fsck.
 

Melf

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#97
im also bi decstrus/ambidecstrus*, inteligent(alright spelling is differently spellt ( but if you can read my writing then the spelling shouldnt mater)

and i dont know the speling of a word then i either make it up as i go along/spell it phonetically

wot i mean is this:-
i sometimes leave words out of the sentence(but i know what i meanto convay down on paper/screen )is this a form of dyxsleciar?

* sounds like a dogdey ad in contact mag/lonly harts ?
 

ElishevaBarsabe

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#98
unresolved handedness, length of ring finger

I've been told by a couple of neurologists that the inability to resolve handedness (or bi-dexterity) can lead to problems like dyslexia and may contribute to my problem with epilepsy.

John Manning is the researcher doing the study on the length of the ring finger. An article about the length of the ring finger and the likelihood of having a heart attack is at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1613066.stm

His studies about ring-finger length and other aspects of human beings are mentioned in the last paragraph.
 

rynner2

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#99
Left-handers top cricket stats
Cricket's left-handed batsmen really do have an advantage at the crease, according to an analysis of the stats.
Scientists who studied the World Cup found these players hit more runs, batted longer and tended to lose their wickets only because they slogged out.

But the explanation for this better performance is not so straightforward.

The researchers think the bowler's experience of left-handers is crucial because the advantage is less evident at the highest levels of the sport.


Hand to hand

These bowlers may not have the experience to deal so readily with a player taking up the alternative stance and get hammered to the boundary more often.

"It's strategic in the sense that left-handers only have the advantage when they are rare," says Dr Rob Brooks, from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

"The more competitive the game is, the more left-handers there are and as a consequence of that the advantage decreases."

The explanation is subtle but very important. If it was simply that left-handed batsmen were better than right-handers, then the alternative stance would completely dominate the top echelons of the sport.

What is more, it is only in the interactive sports such as cricket, tennis, fencing and boxing that the numbers of left-handers making the top grade are higher than would be expected from their frequency in the general population (10-13% of individuals are left-handed).

Similar success is not witnessed in more general sports where players do not come face to face, argue Dr Brooks and colleagues in a paper published in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society, the UK's academy of science.

The team studied the group matches from the World Cup. They found that out of the 177 players who went to the crease, 42 - that is 24% of the total - were left-handed.

The left-handers were found to score an average of 20 runs per innings compared with 11 for right-handers. They also stayed out in the middle for longer - for an average of 25 versus 15 balls.

Evolution study

"The frequency of left-handers in the top three places in the batting order was 47%, falling to 12% among the last three batsmen, suggesting that left-handed batsmen enjoy an advantage in one-day international cricket," they write in their paper.

Interestingly, the team tested the often-quoted assumption of commentators that a combination of a left-hander and a right-hander at the crease is the most difficult to bowl at.

Dr Brooks says: "Their rationale is that it breaks up the bowler's ability to bowl a particular line and length, but if you look at all the partnerships there were in the World Cup - including two left-handers or two right-handers together - there is no evidence that this particular combination is any more successful."

As biologists, the team is interested in this kind of study because it allows them to examine why certain traits in a population spread only so far among individuals - even when those traits may confer an evolutionary advantage.

"It is not too long ago that a really important determinant of your evolutionary fitness and your success - certainly as a male - was tied up in your ability to fight, and this could be a very good explanation as to why we still have 10-13% left-handers in the population."
 

ArthurASCII

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I am left handed.

If I indicate to my wife or eldest daughter that there is something on their face by pointing at the same spot on my own face, they unfailingly touch the opposite side of their own face (as if they were looking in a mirror).

My youngest daughter (who is left-handed) does not display this behaviour.

Weird or what :confused:
 

Anome

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Well, Matthew Hayden bats left-handed.

As does Adam Gilchrist who's 100 in 84 balls got kind of eclipsed on the weekend.

I also tend to point to the same side, rather than the reflected side, when pointing things out to people, and then have to stop and remember to point to the other side. Maybe it's something to do with spatial sensory skills in Left Handers?
 
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One of my son's teachers told him he was ambidextrous. He later proudly reported to my friend that he was "bisexual". ah.
 

filcee

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I just tend to be confused (and lazy), as a child I would write with whichever hand was closest to whatever I was writing with when I picked it up. This stopped in primary school, when a lovely teacher cracked me on the knuckles with a rule every time I wrote left handed. On the use of cutlery, I use a fork, with or without a knife, with my right hand, but chopsticks with my left. Any two-handed sports, such as cricket or golf, I am left handed, but in sports such as tennis (where the grip is predominantly single handed) I use my right hand. I use tools such as hammers with my right hand, but type mostly with my left hand.
I am definitely left footed, having not a hope in hell of kicking anything with my right foot.
I have a (relatively) high IQ, but bugger all artistic ability.
 
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I'm also left-handed, when I attended catholic school I would get in trouble for making the "sign of the cross" with my left hand. It it also considered bad etiquette to accept the host (that little jesus-cookie-wafer thing) with your left hand. It seems as though the catholics feel that the left hand is only good for scratching one's ass. Speaking of which......

As for muslim folk, they don't like to eat or shake hands with their left hand because of the aforementioned notion that the left hand is "dirty." I always eat and shake hands with the left hand out of habit, this has led to me getting some funny looks from some former muslim employers of mine. They told me that they knew that in america it is acceptable to use the left hand, but they were still getting used to seeing it.

As far as generalizations go, I think "us" lefties are wonderful and creative people, but no more so than "them" righties.

---'goblin
 

inkedmagiclady

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This whole subject fascinates me. My grandfather had the left handedness beaten out of him with a ruler in school. I am left handed. I haven't read this whole thread yet (I will) but I seem to remember reading somewhere, a long time ago, a well detailed and documented history and explanation about why there is such a stigma about being left handed.

I struggled early on in school with scissors, and trained myself to cut with my right hand. I find that I also use my right for other tasks. That makes me bi-dextrous I guess.
 

sixty10

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theHobgoblin said:
As for muslim folk, they don't like to eat or shake hands with their left hand because of the aforementioned notion that the left hand is "dirty."
Nor do Hindu folk, as I discovered to my chagrin when I visited India as a child and had a hell of a time scooping up my daal, bhat and roti righthandedly and messing up all my relatives' nice linen tablecloths.

Buddhists -- at least those in Nepal -- don't seem to have a preference, it seems; they just smiled serenely and let me go for my life.
 

rynner2

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Most walruses are right-flippered
The walrus is the latest animal shown by scientists to prefer using one hand, or one flipper, over the other.
The ivory-tusked sea mammal tends to use its right flipper to forage for clams on the sea bed, say researchers.

Anatomical studies confirm the bones in the walrus' right limb are longer than those in the left - the same phenomenon as seen in right-handed people.

The Danish, Swedish and Greenland researchers report their discovery in the online journal BMC Ecology.


Long mystery

Handedness - preferring one side of the body to the other for certain tasks - has been found in chimps, monkeys and even crows, so it is perhaps not surprising that it should be found in a creature like the walrus.

Scientists have studied handedness in people for more than 150 years.

But they are still divided over why right-handers vastly outnumber left-handers in the human population.

It seems to be something to do with the way the brain is organised into two halves, allowing one side to specialise over the other for certain functions such as language.

Some scientists have postulated that handedness arose in primates and is somehow related to the development of speech or tool-making skills.

But the latest research casts doubt on this, as did the recent discovery that a species of Pacific crow uses the right side of its beak to craft leaves into tools for catching insects.

"Some people say handedness developed in primates from tool manipulations", lead researcher Nette Levermann, of the University of Copenhagen, told BBC News Online, "but this cannot be the driving force because it is found in walruses and, to a certain extent, in humpback whales and catfish."

Harbour seals

Observations of humpback whales show they use either the right or left side of the jaw when snatching prey.

Harbour seals in the waters off Scotland also seem to show handedness, according to Mike Fedak of the UK's Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews.

They tend to use their right flipper when engaged in the task of beating at the sand to scare the sand eels they feed on out of hiding.

The nails on the right flipper also get worn down more quickly than the ones on the left.

"It is not surprising to me that handedness appears in bilaterally symmetrical animals," said Dr Fedak.

"Any task that involves only using one limb rather than both might be learned favourably on one side."

The research is published in the online journal BMC Ecology.
 

GodzillaGirl

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Both me and my beau are left handed. It's great! I don't have to explain why I have things organized the way I do and we can sit next to each other in a restaurant without bumping elbows. I can only hope that when we decide to have a kid, that the kid will also be left handed!
 

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Sinister = Left, Dexter = Right

I think that the reason why so many people can't tell left from right is because of the inherant conflict in that system. After all, MY left is YOUR right. And when I tell you somehting is "on the left" it could be either on the left OR right depending on which direction you are facing. I think our poor brains just can't cope with it. :confused:

I've always considered myself left handed, but I guess I'm bi-dextrous. I also kick with my left foot, but put my right foot forward on a skateboard/surfboard. I wear my watch on my left arm which really confuses people. :D

I couldn't cut my way out of a paper bag if I use my left hand with scissors.
 

rynner2

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Snap said:
I think that the reason why so many people can't tell left from right is because of the inherant conflict in that system. After all, MY left is YOUR right. And when I tell you somehting is "on the left" it could be either on the left OR right depending on which direction you are facing. I think our poor brains just can't cope with it.
Which is why sailors and airmen use Port and starboard to denote the sides of their ships or aircraft.

If something is sighted "to starboard", everybody knows which side of the ship to look, regardless of which way they were facing before.
 

jarmaniac

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Another lefty speaks

People generally consider me to be left-handed because I write with my left hand. About the only other things I do left-handedly, however, are eat with a spoon (my mother still doesn't know how to set a place for me after 41 years) and drink. I have had the occasional dinner-party contretemps with regard to that one.

It may however have had an effect on my guitar-playing techique. I know Mark Knopfler is left-handed yet plays the guitar 'right-handedly' and I believe this is audible in his music.

I don't remember having had any grief in school connected with left-handed writing (well, apart from the fact that my writing was pretty much illegible), but I know that my Dad did - he was made to use his right hand, and developed a stammer in consequence.
 

GodzillaGirl

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escargot said:
GG, the ex and I are both incorrigibly left-handed but we produced 4 right-handed children!:(

s'not FAIR...........
Oh, please don't dash my hopes for producing (or should I say reproducing) my part in the up coming Left-handers Revolution. I dream of the day when I can write in a notebook without suffering or turning it the wrong direction. :p
 

rynner2

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Many languages are written right to left. (eg, Arabic, I think.)

Does anyone know if the proportions of LH people in these cultures is higher?

It would be easier for a LH'er to write right to left, methinks.
 

Min Bannister

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I'll 'ave ye

Seems that revolution may come at any time. ;)

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996773

Left-handed people may be better equipped for close range mortal combat than those who rely on their right hands, according to researchers.

Charlotte Faurie and Michel Raymond of the University of Montpellier in France examined the number of left-handed people in unindustrialised cultures as well as the homicide levels within each culture.

They discovered a correlation between levels of violence and the proportion of the left-handed population – the more violent a culture, the higher the relative proportion of left-handers. The cause for this, the researchers suggest, is that left-handers are more likely to survive hand-to-hand combat.

The news could provide comfort for those who routinely struggle with right-handed scissors and can-openers, but some experts are unconvinced by the link.

Left-handed people are more prone to some health problems, suggesting the trait ought to disappear naturally over many generations through natural selection. But left-handers continue to make up a small proportion of the human population, hinting there could also be some evolutionary advantage to being left-handed.

And the ratio of left-handers to right-handers is higher in successful sportspeople than it is in the general population, suggesting there is definite advantage to favouring the left hand or foot in competitive games, such as tennis.


"Because of the advantage in sports we thought there could be a similar advantage in fights," Faurie told New Scientist. The theory is that right-handed competitors are less accustomed to facing left-handers, making them a more difficult proposition.

Faurie and Raymond studied several unindustrialised societies with varying rates of homicide, using their own fieldwork and ethnographic literature. They excluded industrialised cultures due to a lack of data and because, they argue, use of firearms is unaffected by handedness.

At one end of the scale, their sample included the Dioula of Burkina Faso, where just 3.4% of the population is left-handed and there are only 0.013 murders per 1000 inhabitants each year. At the other end of their sample spectrum, they studied records of the Eipo of Indonesia, where 27% of the population is left-handed and the homicide rate is considerably greater - three murders per 1000 people each year.

The strong correlation between the proportion of left-handers and the number of homicides in each culture suggests that left-handers are more likely to survive a fight, they say. "It could be one of the reasons left-handedness has survived," Faurie says. "Though there may be other reasons too."

Daniel Nettle, an expert in human evolutionary history at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, is intrigued. "The results quite surprised me," he says. "But I can't think of any reason why they might be an artefact [of the study design], so it looks like an interesting finding."

However, Chris McManus at University College London, who has researched handedness, is more sceptical about the link. "I'm far from convinced," he told New Scientist. "I don't think it is anything as simple as this."

McManus says the sample data is too small provide firm evidence of a connection between handedness and fighting prowess and says data from western societies should also have been included.

He believes the success of left-handers may be largely due to differences in the brain. "It may be that sometimes their brains assemble themselves in combinations that work better for certain tasks," he says.
 

Electric_Monk

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When they attempted to measure our physical strength at High School PE the hand strength machines always reported that my left hand was stronger than my right, which they said was very unusual. I did consider at the time that perhaps I was actually left handed, except for the fact that I'm not very good at writing/etc. with that hand (which would make sense if I was trying to learn to write right-handed. I'm sure it'd be fine with practice anyway, when I try it just feels like a coordination problem I could get around with practice). My dad's also left-handed, and I'm pretty sure my mum is also.

Not that I want to get involved in any mortal combat or anything ;)
 

ENTIANONMULTI

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rynner said:
Which is why sailors and airmen use Port and starboard to denote the sides of their ships or aircraft.

If something is sighted "to starboard", everybody knows which side of the ship to look, regardless of which way they were facing before.
I was under the impression port and starboard came from the fact that the boat tied up to a quay with it's port side to it as the starboard side had the steering oar over it.

as to left handers dieing younger could that have anything to do with the fact the world is set up for right handed people and as such emergency stop buttons etc are likely to be placed in a position easily accessible to the majority i.e. the right handed folk.
 

CodenameThrow

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Nor do Hindu folk, as I discovered to my chagrin when I visited India as a child and had a hell of a time scooping up my daal, bhat and roti righthandedly and messing up all my relatives' nice linen tablecloths.
I think it's quite universal in India. Oddly enough I was talking to someone about this the other day and the reason she gave for not using your left hand to eat is that "you wipe your arse with it".
 

CodenameThrow

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yes, that was one of the "rejected on grounds of taste" pile that somehow didn't make it through the rigorous QA process I applied before posting ;)
 
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