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Left-Handed People Are Officially Smarter, Science Confirms

Left-Handed People Are Officially Smarter, Science Confirms

Bad news for the right-handers.

Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, David Bowie, Nikola Tesla, Jimi Hendrix, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Neil Armstrong, Winston Churchill, Pel, Paul McCartney.... We could go on.

What do all of these names have in common?

Well, not much to be honest, aside from the fact that they all were/are exceptionally gifted and the fact that every single one of them was/is a lefty.

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was a lefty who famously played a right-handed guitar upside down. Credit: PA

Coincidence? Well, according to a study carried out by IFL Science, perhaps not.

IFL Science looked at handedness' connection with things such as mathematical ability, in order to test whether the age-old myth of left-handed people being smarter actually had any grounding in reality.

The online science news outlet stated that because hand preference is a manifestation of brain function, it is therefore directly linked to cognition.

They say that: "Left-handers exhibit, on average, a more developed right brain hemisphere, which is specialised for processes such as spatial reasoning and the ability to rotate mental representations of objects."

That's not all though.

In lefties, the bundle of nerve cells that connects the two hemispheres of the brain - otherwise known as the corpus callosum - tends to be larger than in their right-handed counterparts. This increased connectivity gives some left-handers a superior ability to process information.

A right-handed person attempts to write with their left hand. Credit: Denise Krebs

However, scientists are still unclear on why this increase in connectivity occurs. Some believe that the fact left-handers are forced to adapt in a world primarily geared towards right-handers forces them to use both hands, resulting a greater linking between the two sides of the brain.

If this theory were true it would mean that all of us could achieve heightened information processing abilities by training ourselves to become ambidextrous.

A study was also carried out to measure the correlation between handedness and mathematical skill - something which has been looked at many times before with varying results.

To gather reliable results IFL Science conducted a series of experiments on 2,300 students. The experiments varied in terms of difficulty and type of mathematical test.

In order to measure the results students were asked to complete a specially designed questionnaire that assessed to what degree they used each of their hands for different activities; things like drawing, eating, throwing and others.

It was designed as a scale to measure each individual's preference for using each of their hands, which allowed for more 'reliable and powerful statistical models'.

When the results were in, it was bad news for the right-handers, with the left-handers out-performing them in the most difficult tasks and easier tasks showing no significant difference in performance.

So, to sum up, when it comes to tricky maths puzzles and problem-solving, lefties definitely have the edge.

As far as them all being geniuses though, we're not so sure.

Words: Paddy Maddison

Featured Image Credit: The Simpsons/20th Century Fox