Study busts myth of ‘lefties’ being more gifted

June 8th, 2011 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 8 (IANS) Psychologists have busted the myth that left-handed people are more gifted.

In a study led by Professor Mike Nicholls, director of the Brain and Cognition Lab in Flinders University’s School of Psychology, left-handed participants consistently performed worse than their right-handed peers in IQ tests.

“The evidence, based on our analyses of very large databases of handedness and other attributes in people across Australia, the UK and the US, doesn’t bear out that myth,” Nicholls said.

“Our study of members of the same family confirms that left-handed children will do worse than their right-handed siblings,” he said, according to a Flinders’ statement.

Nicholls, who is himself left-handed, said handedness is tied to left or right asymmetries in the brain, or laterality - a major research focus of the Lab.

“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.

“We’re very interested in how the general population tends to pay more attention to the left-hand side of an object than the right,” Nicholls said.

He added that the ultimate goal of his research is to develop remedial techniques for people with neurological problems and brain damage.

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