LivingAre lefties smarter?

Are lefties smarter?

The belief about the talent linked to being left-handed is very old, since great minds like that of Mozart or Nicola Tesla were also left-handed. But how much truth is there in this trial? The preference for the use of one hand over the other is nothing more than a manifestation of brain function ( left-handed people have a more developed right cerebral hemisphere and the corpus callosum that joins both hemispheres is larger ) and, therefore, is also related to cognition.

Does this mean that your information processing is more advanced? Yes, although why is not clear. These peculiarities in their brain cause them to be more experienced in certain professions and arts such as architecture, chess or music.

Regarding mathematics, as might be expected, the association has caused a lot of interest, so many studies have been carried out to explore this link, concluding that the level of mathematics of left-handers was much higher than the general population.

However, the idea that left-hander is a predictor of superior intellectual ability has recently been challenged by stating that it may even exert detrimental effects on general cognitive function and academic performance.

Thus, a recent study published in the journal Science with children aged 5 to 14, determined that left-handed children performed worse on tests of mathematical ability compared to right-handed children . The fact that there are such disparate scientific results may be due to the structure of the study itself, that is, the design of the experiment.

The latest study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology attempted to obtain more reliable results, involving the participation of 2,300 primary and secondary school students to carry out various experiments with different difficulties in mathematical tests, using the Edinburgh Inventory , whose objective is to evaluate manual dominance.

The results of the experiments revealed that left-handers outperformed the rest of the participants when the tasks involved made it difficult to solve problems , such as the association of mathematical functions to a given set of data. This pattern was particularly clear in male adolescents. In contrast, when the task was not so demanding, such as a simple arithmetic task, there were no differences between left-handed and right-handed.

From work, it appears that, on average, left-handers seem to be more proficient in solving demanding math tasks , at least during elementary and middle school. Taken together, these findings show that the hand, as an indicator of connectivity between the cerebral hemispheres, influences cognition to some extent, the authors argue.

Reference: The Relationship between Handedness and Mathematics Is Non-linear and Is Moderated by Gender, Age, and Type of Task. June 2017. Frontiers in Psychology. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00948

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