Left-handers see the world differently - brain activity changes perception

Scientists at the University of Birmingham have found that the entire worldview of left-handers is different. The reasons are in the two halves of the brain, which produce a different image. The scientists have made clear the differences in perception between the right-and left-handers. To judge right-handed people with the right half of the brain to recognize the overall picture. But if details are considered, the left half of the brain is activated.

Differences in usage

For left-handers it's the other way round. But not only the perception, but also other activities such as the speech or reading function are in the view of researchers dependent on this fact. For example, 95 percent of right-handed people, but only 70 percent of left-handed people use the left hemisphere for speech.

Different halves of the brain

Our brain consists of two sides - the left and the right hemisphere. In the course of development from toddler to adult, these brain halves specialize more and more and take on different tasks.

  • The left brain is specialized in logical thinking, it also controls the detail perception and is the seat of the language center.
  • The right brain is responsible for the creativity and perception of the big picture. She thinks holistically and intuitively and also controls perceptions, emotions and imagination.

For left-handers, the right, creative brain is more pronounced and therefore more dominant. Presumably, therefore, left-handers often find themselves in creative professions.

Left-handedness is no blemish

Left-handed - the proportion of the total population is estimated at least ten percent. Thankfully, left-handers today no longer have to defend themselves against retraining for the right hand and disadvantages in the profession. Nevertheless, there are always difficulties for left-handers in everyday life. If you do not believe it, as a right-handed person you should try to open a can with your left hand, write on the left with a jerk, or simply cut with a pair of scissors on the left. This is not even just "left".

Do not retrain lefties!

Left-handedness is just as good as right-handedness - that's something you can not teach left-handers early enough and often enough. Left-handers start in the gripping age to touch everything with the left hand first. Important for parents is that they have no influence on the preferred use of a hand from the beginning.

Transforming a left-handed person to the right hand can have serious consequences for the child: problems at school, such as difficulty concentrating, reading and writing difficulties, even speech problems or bedwetting, have been described. It becomes particularly critical when a child stutters or even hyperactive.

The reason: If a left-handed child is forced to always use the right hand, the dominant right hemisphere is constantly under-challenged, the weaker left overwhelmed. The consequences are serious and can negatively affect the whole life. Consequential damages such as inferiority complexes and psychosomatic complaints are so pre-programmed.

Risk left-handedness?

Researchers have also concluded that left-handers are more prone to allergies, autoimmune diseases, depression, drug addiction, epilepsy, schizophrenia and sleep disorders. Other researchers assume that left-handers also have poorer spatial capabilities and are therefore more prone to accidents. However, the study published in the science magazine The Lancet has resolved with a prejudice: Left-handers do not die earlier.

Small test

Clap your hands before reading on.

Now observe which hand is below you. As a rule, left-handers hit the left hand on the resting right while clapping, while right-handed people keep their hands in the opposite direction.

Known left-handers

Left-handers are in good company. This is also shown by the following list of prominent left-handers: Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Marylin Monroe, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Paul McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Sir Peter Ustinov, Martina Navratilova, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Marie Curie, Isaac Newton.


Mevorach, C., Humphreys, GW & Shalev, L. (2005): Attending to a Formal Form While ignoring global aspects depends on evidence: evidence from TMS. Nature Neuroscience 8, 267-277.

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