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The Left Hand Phenomenon

Have you ever seen the actions of a small infant? During a day he touches many things, takes them to his mouth, throws or carries them. And with all this going on, he operates sometimes with his right hand, sometimes with his left one, and sometimes with both hands simultaneously. It turns out that until reaching a definite age, a child can operate both hands and it makes no difference for him what hand to choose. And what if a child prefers to operate with one hand? And what if this hand is left? Parents are often strongly upset if their child is left handed as the majority of people are right handed.

Why can't we operate with both hands equally? And why do we prefer the right hand though using the left hand is more convenient for quite a large quantity of people? It's rather difficult to define a leading hand of little kids. Usually it becomes apparent at school age. At the age from zero to three the quantity of right-handers increases from 50 to 85 percent, and to the age of seven it reaches 95 percent. The rest are left-handers for the rest of their lives.


What cause sinistrality?


Possible reasons of left handedness are genetic inclination (in the presence of left-handed relatives) and brain traumas that occur during the act of delivery (pathological sinistrality). There are no complete left-handers among healthy children without brain pathology.


The writing hand can't serve as a definition of a leading hand. For example, many people write, eat and brush hair with one hand and hold a toothbrush and a racket in another. Here we can see evaluation of preferences showing frequency of usage of one hand and another one. This is a varying feature: from right-handedness through the usage of both hands to left-handedness.


Analyzing the reasons of left-handedness, it's impossible not to pay attention to the asymmetry of cerebral hemispheres. Right and left cerebral hemispheres function differently; left being dominant for the majority of people. This means that the right part of a body is more perfect and more tailor made. Left-handers have right cerebral hemisphere dominating over the left one, and, consequently, they operate better with the left hand.


It was considered before that verbalization is connected with the left hemisphere and visual functions with the right one. But the last special investigations prove that both hemispheres control speech and spatial perception. Psychological processes are also formed in both hemispheres as in one organ. But in spite of all this, people have functional asymmetry.


Speaking about sinistrality, it's impossible not to touch a question of forced teaching. Many mentors and teachers of primary school industriously tried to make left-handed children become right-handers. During this process a left-handed child becomes hot tempered and touchy and his sleep becomes troubled. Later there will appear more serious disturbances such as headaches, limpness and diffidence. As a result, conditions such as these can develop: neurasthenic reactions and neural tics, enuresis, disturbances of speech rhythm and tempo leading to stuttering.


Every third child suffering from dyslexia (disturbance of reading ability), is a left-hander taught to be a right-hander.


The most typical and the most mysterious manifestation of left-handers is mirror writing (children with unstable leading hand can also display it). When a left-handed child is forced to be a right-hander, he has difficulties in formation of spatial representation and in definition of left and right. Up and down, horizontal and vertical interchange; a child doesn't feel incorrectness and doesn't notice it.

However, most children from three to seven have spontaneous mirror writing. And a left-hander after having mastered common writing can suddenly display mirror writing (especially if he is tired). Complete disappearance of this phenomenon usually takes place after the age of 10 to 11.


So, left-handedness isn't a blemish or a defect but in some sense it's even an advantage. The absolute majority of people are right-handers and all machines and instruments are made for them. So there is no necessity for them to develop another hand. Left-handed people are forced to operate with the right hand and thus develop it. As a result many left-handers can work using both hands with the same dexterity.


Approximately 4 percent of the population are left-handers and their psychological abilities and social progress is just the same comparing to right-handed people. Left-handers have better indications of adaptation to difficult climatic conditions in comparison with right-handers.


The most gifted among left-handed children, if they aren't forced to become right-handers, can show high indications of psychological development, architectural and mathematical abilities. They can also display extraordinary abilities in arts and music.


Many genius were left-handers, for example, the greatest sculptors of all times – Leonardo Da Vinchi and Michel Angelo; prominent military leaders – Alexander the Great and Napoleon Bonapart; writers –

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