Categories: Health & Fitness

Everything you need to know about ambidextrous people

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Only a small part of the population is able touse both right and left hands with equal skill : Those are the ambidextrous. But what does it mean to be ambidextrous, exactly? How can this fascinating phenomenon be explained?

Definition: what does ambidexterity mean? How do we know if we are?

Ambidexterity is the ability to use both hands equally. In its rarest form, which accounts for about 1% of the world’s population, ambidextrous people can use both hands equally, with equal ease, at any time as the dominant hand (total ambidextrous ). The left and right sides of their brain are roughly symmetrical.

Partial ambidexterity

But there are different forms of ambidexterity. In other, more common forms, ambidexterity is not total : the person will write with the left hand, and hold the fork with the right hand, or vice versa. Or, she doesn’t have a dominant hand, and uses both hands like two left hands of a right-handed person. These include people who have had to learn to use their non-dominant hand, whether right or left, after an accident.

There are also left-handed people who use their non-dominant hand almost as well as their left hand. By the way, ambidextrous and left-handed brains are very similar, so, many ambidextrous people are left-handed first.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of ambidexterity?

Paradoxically, even though ambidextrous people have brains with symmetrical sides, unlike right-handed people, they tend to be more in tune with their physical than mental abilities.

According to a Finnish study cited by Reader’s digest and carried out on 8,000 young people (source 1), ambidextrous pupils run 90% more risks of encountering math difficulties than other children. They also noticed more than language difficulties.

The good news is that ambidexterity is especially helpful in areas like music, art and sport. Among the most famous ambidextrous in history are Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Figure skater Michelle Kwan and American basketball player Le Bron James skillfully use both hands.

Are other disorders associated with ambidexterity? For what ?

In the same Finnish study, left-handed and ambidextrous adolescents were twice as likely as right-handed people to show signs of attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD). Among the teens in the study who had previously been diagnosed with ADHD, the ambidextrous had more severe symptoms. It would seem, among other things, that the ambidexterity gene is even linked to the risk of schizophrenia.

“The gene that strongly contributes to left-handedness, LRRTM1, also increases the risk of schizophrenia. Since left-handed and ambidextrous brains are so similar, ambidextrous people are also at a higher risk of developing this disease. On the other hand, people with schizophrenia are much more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than the rest of the population,” the paper says. Reader’s Digest.

The brains of ambidextrous people are more symmetrical

The brains of ambidextrous people tend to be quite symmetrical, like that of people with synesthesia. This neurological phenomenon is not a disease, but an ability to trigger and associate several senses at once. Synesthesia allows to hear the colors, or to associate numbers with personalities. A person with synesthesia is much more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous.

Can we become ambidextrous?

We can learn to become ambidextrousbut it is necessary train regularly, and results are not guaranteed. For example, you can write or draw regularly with your non-dominant hand, or even perform simple tasks such as brushing your teeth, answering the phone, using the computer mouse, etc.

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