Being ambidextrous could give you a cognitive advantage




As a leftie I've some ambidextrous characteristics.This is due to a a constant interaction with a world made for righties.


but on the other hand ...


I think left handed people are much better at using their right hand than right handed people are at using their left hand.
I'm a lefty and I can pretty much do anything except write legibly with my right hand. I am always amazed when a right handed person can't do the simplest things with their left hand.


But of course, there are always exceptions. I've always written with my right hand (I can't be legible with the left), and am fairly sure this was natural rather than coerced.
I generally can draw with both hands, and always did things like shoot a bb gun, use a baseball bat, or even do mundane things like read paperbacks or personally groom with my left.


Stuff That Blows Your Mind just released the latest podcast on lefties: I do not believe I have much of a cognitive advantage over righties. On a positive note, I can write in cursive script with both hands--it appears what I learned from my right hand I can directly transfer to my left. I guess that is an advantage that the left can mimick the right in most things. smile


What if you're ambisinister?


I don't know if being ambidextrous has ever given me any cognitive advantage, but it sure as hell helps with sports like surfing, etc. along with using computer mouse control gestures in one hand while using keyboard shortcuts with another hand simultaneously, etc. - I've often been referred to as "creative" and I feel creative, but that certainly hasn't translated into general intelligence.

I just enjoy using my left hand along with my right because it makes me evil.



I don't know if one follows the other, but I've always viewed my left-handedness as symptomatic of how foreign my viewpoint is vis-a-vis general society. But those views are shared by many of the Mutants here, and I imagine the handedness of our community probably mirrors the general population, so perhaps I'm exaggerating. But, to me, it makes sense that I'm left handed. They think I'm a weirdo and a threat, might as well add lefty to it and give them a visual confirmation.


I've pretty much always used both hands equally (I'm a righty). The task that is most difficult for me to do with my left hand is brushing my teeth -- I have to really focus to do it effectively. After seeing my mother struggle to adapt after a stroke paralyzed her right arm, I have started making use of my left hand a bit more often...


I would imagine that a similar cognitive advantage applies to bilinguals and, even better, polyglots.


I tried for several years to become ambidextrous, by forcing myself to only use my left hand for single-handed tasks like writing, eating, etc.. It didn't work. I can now do anything with my left hand that I could do with my right hand, only poorly. But it did give me a greater understanding of what lefties historically had to deal with.


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