The blessings and curses of being a shouthpaw.

Reply Tue 18 Oct, 2011 10:25 am
The following I wrote from portions of an article by Marti Attoun. Are you left-handed? ---BBB

About one in 10 Americans is left-handed. As recently as 50 years ago, the trait was considered a disadvantage, even a curse, Biblical references yoked the left to the dark side, some people believed, whereas the favored sat on the "right hand of God."

Today, left-handers celebrate their distinction. Some manufacturers and retailers even cater to the left-handed population, producing and selling everything from spiral notebooks that open from left to right to watches that rotate counterclockwise and have reversed numbers.

The list of left-handed athletes, artists, authors, musicians, presidents and scientists is impressive---from Babe Ruth and Beethoven to Albert Einstein and President Obama.

Their advantage is scientifically based on how the brain works, Each side of the brain specializes in different activities, a process called lateralization, which Dr, Amar Klar, a geneticist at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Md, has researched for 35 years. Lefties have more bilateral brain activity, which can be an advantage in visualizing and solving problems.

"It's common knowledge that doctors have a high incidence of left-handedness," says Klar, 63, "and in fencing, tennis and baseball, the biggest guns are left-handed.

Klar's research suggests that a simple dominant gene determines right-handedness. People who don't inherit the right-hand gene have an equal chance of being right-or left-handed.

"Just like when you toss a coin, it's 50-50," Klar says.
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