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Lefties more gifted a myth

Washington: A new research claims to have finally dispelled the common myth that lefties are more gifted than right-handed people.

An international team, led by Flinders University, has found that lefties consistently performed worse than the right -handed people in measures of cognitive ability or IQ with the "level of disability" equivalent to being prematurely born.

"The evidence, based on our analyses of very large databases of handedness and other attributes in people across Australia, the UK and the USA, doesn`t bear out that myth. Our study of members of the same family confirms that left-handed children will do worse than their right-handed siblings," said Professor Mike Nicholls, who led the study.

Researchers said handedness is tied to left or right asymmetries in the brain, or laterality. "Left and right could so easily be the same in humans and in some animal species it is the same. In humans, though, there seems to be this large specialisation of the two sides of the brain," he said.

"It is most likely related to squeezing as many eggs as possible into one basket," Prof Nicholls said, adding, "We are very interested in how the general population tends to pay more attention to the left-hand side of an object than right."

This bias manifests itself as a tendency to deviate to the right in activities from steering a wheelchair to walking and even goal-kicking, according to the researchers.

"There is a difference between near and far space and how the brain codes what can and cannot be touched. In the case of AFL footballers, when they aim for the midpoint between two posts, they tend to kick slightly to the right of middle," Prof Nicholls.

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