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Left-Handed Brains

February 8, 2011

Left-handers suffer more from learning disabilities but can also excel in spatial visualization.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Lefties vs. righties…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Today’s Why Is It question comes from David Chang of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, who wants to know if left-handers are smarter than right-handers. We asked cognitive scientist Stanley Coren, professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and author of “The Left-Hander Syndrome.” He says left-handedness often occurs due to stress during birth, which affects pathways in the brain. As a result, some learning disabilities are more prevalent in left-handed people. But Coren says they also tend to excel in jobs requiring spatial visualization.

STANLEY COREN (University of British Columbia):
Like artists and architects and chess masters and that sort of thing, we tend to find a higher number of left-handers.

HIRSHON:
It all depends on which parts of the brain get affected during that crucial moment of development. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.