Are Left-Handed People Smarter than Right-Handed People?

A 2006 study reported in the journal Neuropsychology seems to indicate that the brains of left-handed people amalgamate information between brain hemispheres more efficiently than those of right-handed people. Lefties are more "bi-cerebral." This faster information transfer allows them to process multiple stimuli more quickly – skills required in activities such as video games, sports, or driving in heavy traffic.

Although no studies have proven that lefties are more intelligent than righties, they do suggest that southpaws have certain cognitive advantages, which may explain why lefties are common among mathematicians, architects, artists, and chess experts.

What's left to say?

  • Lefties make up about 10 percent of the general population.
  • Research suggests that left-handers are more likely to suffer from learning disabilities, dyslexia, and mental disorders than right-handers.
  • Left-handed people also tend to have lower instances of arthritis and ulcers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a scientific basis for left-handed people being smarter than right-handed people?

Scientific studies on the relationship between handedness and intelligence have yielded mixed results. Some research suggests that left-handed individuals may have an advantage in divergent thinking, a form of creativity, but there is no conclusive evidence that they are generally smarter. According to a study published in the journal "Neuropsychology," left-handers may excel in specific types of thinking, such as combining disparate concepts, which is a component of creativity rather than a direct measure of intelligence.

Do left-handed people have different brain structures compared to right-handed people?

Yes, left-handed individuals often exhibit differences in brain structure and function. For instance, the language centers in the brain are more likely to be distributed across both hemispheres in left-handed people, as opposed to being predominantly in the left hemisphere for right-handers. This can lead to variations in cognitive processing, as reported in studies like those from the journal "Brain."

What percentage of the population is left-handed, and does this affect perceptions of their intelligence?

Approximately 10% of the world's population is left-handed, according to data from various sources including Scientific American. This minority status can sometimes lead to misconceptions or stereotypes about left-handed individuals, including the belief that they might be inherently smarter or more creative. However, such perceptions are not supported by definitive scientific evidence.

Are there any notable historical figures who were left-handed and considered intelligent?

Many notable historical figures were left-handed, including Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Marie Curie, who were all renowned for their intelligence and contributions to their respective fields. While their left-handedness is an interesting aspect of their biographies, it is their extraordinary achievements that stand as a testament to their intelligence.

How does culture influence the perception of left-handedness and intelligence?

Cultural attitudes towards left-handedness have varied greatly throughout history and across societies. In some cultures, left-handedness has been stigmatized, while in others it has been associated with special abilities, including intelligence. These cultural biases can influence how left-handed individuals are perceived, but they do not reflect any inherent cognitive advantages or disadvantages associated with handedness.

More Info: BBC

Discussion Comments


"Stuff I learned before going to school, totally left hand" ??


What about ambidextrous people, especially if they were forced to use the right hand at a young age--pre-puberty. I was one of those who were not allowed to use my left hand in school. I developed a stutter/stammer and now use both hands. Stuff I learned before going to school, totally left hand. Elementary school to high school, mostly left hand except writing.

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