About 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. Despite all the theories on the matter, it is still unclear why the vast majority of people are more adept with the right side of their body (specifically the limbs) than the left.
Until a few years ago left-handed people suffered from discrimination, harassment and even torture due to superstitions and cultural stigmas historically associated with the left side negative connotations in any field.
The laterality It is a common characteristic in mammals that defines the preference of each individual to use the left or right part of the body over the other. Being so rare in humans to opt for the left side, this peculiarity has made lefties so attractive to science, as special in a world created by and for right-handers.
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Not only that: it has also sparked such popular ideas around its laterality, such as the widely accepted notion as true, that left-handers maintain a stronger interconnection between both cerebral hemispheres and therefore not only They are smarter than right-handed people, but also have greater creativity and better language skills, but … what does science think about it?
To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the functioning of both hemispheres of the brain. Although the division between left and right hemisphere is used very often as a synonym to separate the skills that each person has (such as solving mathematical problems or painting in oils) according to the ‘hemisphere that he uses the most’, this notion is not entirely true.
Actually, the brain is a interconnected organ and although for its study it is divided into hemispheres according to the specialized functions it performs, the vast majority of processes depend on the interaction of both hemispheres.
In late 2019, an investigation by the Oxford University revealed the first known genetic differences between the left-handed and right-handed populations.
After analyzing the UK Biobank database (a record with the genome of half a million Britons) and contrasting the genetic information of the roughly 38,000 left-handers in the sample with a portion of right-handers, the scientists revealed that four mutations are associated with the left being the dominant hand.
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Although the study did not find what some call ‘the left-handed gene’, the truth is that it is the first proof that the dominant hand has a genetic component, in addition to environmental factors.
These results confirm that Yes, there are differences in the brain structure that connects the language regions in both hemispheres of the brain between left and right handed.
And although there are dozens of studies that have tried to show that this means an advantage, no solid evidence that people who prefer their left side be more capable in terms of intelligence, creativity or language than 90% of rights in the world; However, it is clear that the motor skill They require to fit tools, utensils, furniture, and all kinds of right-handed objects is outstanding.
Things you didn’t know about lefties