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Chimpanzees Shed New Light on Hand Preference

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the southpaw-monkeys dept.

Biotech 519

An anonymous reader writes "'Language skills are associated with the left side of the brain, and many scientists have said early humans developed a preference for their right hands when they acquired speech,' but Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center has a new study that links hand preference to the motor skills area of the brain rather than the language part of the brain. 'That means lefties have probably been around much longer than believed -- at least 5 million years, when scientists say humans and apes branched on the primate family tree. And evolution has purposely kept them.'"

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519 comments

!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016263)

Seriously though - I am left handed, but I don't have autism, dyslexia or schizophrenia (nor am I a member of Mensa unforunately).

My grandpa was also left handed, but in those days the 'teachers' beat him with a strap every time he used his left hand until he became right handed.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016276)

HE shouldn't have been using the devil's hand in the first place

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (4, Interesting)

mccalli (323026) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016295)

HE shouldn't have been using the devil's hand in the first place

You Sinistromanualist, you...

More seriously the, errr, granparent post is referring to this happening to his grandfather. Minus the beating, this was still happening to me when I was at school in the eighties (UK). An English teacher made a concerted effort to force me to be right-handed, and it completely messed up my writing. You can see a clear difference between the schoolbooks I had before her 'teaching', and those I wrote afterwards.

For the worse, of course.

Cheers,
Ian

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016322)

So finish the fucking story, rod-munch. Did the teacher save you from eternal damnation or not???

Me too! (1)

hpulley (587866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016507)

Both my parents are left handed but that could mean nothing as myself and my brother and sister are all right handed. I believe I was left handed at first but the old, english woman I had for a teacher in grade one forced me to switch and my handwriting has been terrible ever since. Everyone who sees it says I should have been a doctor with all the 'prescriptions' I make. Writing with my left hand is about as legible, though slower of course. I do some activities with one hand, others with the other and some with both. This is probably one of the reasons why I liked computers so early on.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016358)

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016481)

teft handed, huh?

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016281)

...nor am I a member of Mensa unforunately

I bet if you learn to proof-read they might take you, rod-munch.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016288)

but in those days the 'teachers' beat him with a strap every time he used his left hand until he became right handed.

And rightly so.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (3, Informative)

TheRealSync (701599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016311)

nor am I a member of Mensa unforunately

Actually we had a poll on the members only section of our local mensa chapters website regarding this exact question - the conclusion being that we didn't have an unusually high (or low for that matter) number of lefties.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (2, Interesting)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016396)

One strange thing I've noticed when teaching and attending Emergency Medical Services (read 'ambulance service') classes is that there are a higher number of lefties then the general population.

At the station in my town 4 out of the 9 EMS workers are left handed.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (1)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016444)

Oh I thought you were talking about the people you were saving hurting themselves with power tools.

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (2, Funny)

Hinhule (811436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016325)

Seriously though - I am left handed, but I don't have autism, dyslexia or schizophrenia

Denial is the first sign...

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (1)

albalbo (33890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016406)

First teft handed post?

What is a 'teft' hand? First cack handed post, more like ;)

Re:!tsop dednah tfet tsriF (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016478)

oh, alright - you got me...

You see - this is exactly the sort of shit that stopped me getting into mensa!

p3n1s (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016267)

n/t

... evolution has purposely kept them ... (5, Insightful)

andorsch (833253) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016271)

why? evolution is not a process of "optimisation" it is a selection process. Those who are "good enough" survive.

Obviously there is no disadvantage for being left handed, why should there be a selection against it?

Re:... evolution has purposely kept them ... (5, Interesting)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016421)

There is a advantage of being left-handed - it is the element of surprise when you meet your foe. This obviously works only when the percentage of left-handed individuals is low enough - around 10 - 20 %, IIRC.

I am left-handed and I can say I do take advantage of it. I play volleyball and it always takes some adjusting until the opponent starts to block my left hand instead of my right. Playing squash, opponent often let me play mostly forhand because they don't realise my weak side is the other one.
And quite obviously, this is even true for two left-handed opponents playing against each other. With majority of my opponents being right-handed, I myself am taken bu surprise when I meet left-handed opponent.

Obvously, this advantage is lesser in repeated encounters and lesser when there are more left-handed people around.

Re:... evolution has purposely kept them ... (2, Funny)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016466)

There is a advantage of being left-handed - it is the element of surprise when you meet your foe

Most FPS games now have the option to make your character left or right handed when it's using an ae or something, so it's no more a surprise :)

Re:... evolution has purposely kept them ... (2, Interesting)

Maavin (598439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016442)

Obviously there is no disadvantage for being left handed, why should there be a selection against it?

Could you please forward that insight to Logitech ?

Re:... evolution has purposely kept them ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016449)

evolution is an email client

Why exactly is this interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016272)

You could find the same thing out by examing human beings.

Hand preference...heh (2, Funny)

Mithrandir_The_Wise (765275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016274)

Let the masturbation jokes begin!!!

Re: Hand preference...heh (0, Redundant)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016375)


> Let the masturbation jokes begin!!!

OK, here [mlcsmith.com] 's a start.

LOL@SARCASM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016474)

That gets funnier every time I see it.

why choose? (2, Interesting)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016277)

if lefties has a better channce of using the brain's motor neurons, then why did evolution choose to have 2/3 righties in the chimp population. doesn't it goes against darwin's theory?

Re:why choose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016282)

No, but you do.

Re:why choose? (1)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016305)

Evolutionary selection only endorses genes that produce a critter that can survive long enough to become sexually mature and then reproduce. I don't see what left handedness has to do with any of this, unless this is some oblique reference to those "Kiss me I'm Left Handed" T-Shirts.

Re:why choose? (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016338)

Genes that surpass that criteria and allow a creature to be a protective parent who increases the chance of its children mating also has a strong influence. :-)

Also, if genes encourage a creature to kill competing creatures, might give those genes an edge too.

There are lots of ways genes can maneuver themselves into a winning position that aren't all based on "survive long enough to get laid". (though it is a generally manditory criteria, unless you're a cute-enough-to-be-cloned pet or something)

Re:why choose? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016354)

Oooh, I admit you got me there. :-)

YLFI

Re:why choose? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016467)

Does "survive long enough to rape girls and force them to carry out your baby" count, too? ;) HARR HARR

Re:why choose? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016366)

Only if it is passed down genetically... that's the crux. "Survival of the fittest" means "those most likely and best at passing down genetic material"

Re:why choose? (1)

salvorHardin (737162) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016434)

"Survival of the fittest" means "those most likely and best at passing down genetic material"

So, we're constantly evolving as a species into sluts and trailer-trash, whilst 'uncool' types who spend all day writing code or getting excited about Uranium isotopes are dying out. That explains much of what I see every day. Sadly.

Re:why choose? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016458)

As being a slut and trailer-trash aren't genetical predispositions (neither is being a scientist), that's not what's going on.

Survival of the fittest links with evolution ONLY when the difference in question is genetically passed down through the generations. Otherwise it has no consequence to the species, just the individual.

Re:why choose? (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016499)

As for my definition of slut, namely "a girl that screws everyone except you" (not you specifically, mind you), I think they must be pretty effective in passing on their genes. And for God's sake, the world needs more women that want to have orgasms and who generally have a healthy sex drive. That would rid society (and the Internet) of all porn in half a nanosecond, I swear. They don't even need to screw around, faithfulness don't hurt. But just using their God given pussies in the way it feels good would be pretty much everything I ever wanted. Yes, I am bitter.

From the its-bloody-obvious-department (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016279)

"a new study that links hand preference to the motor skills area of the brain"

So, essentially what they've proven is that the motor skills part of the brain may effect the development of our motor skills?

Man, I can't wait until I get my Ph.D.! This research scientist stuff is going to be a piece of cake!

Re:From the its-bloody-obvious-department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016298)

I think you missed the part about "preference"...

Re:From the its-bloody-obvious-department (2, Interesting)

martingunnarsson (590268) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016351)

This was my first reaction too. Why the hell would hand preference be connected to the language part of the brain?

I for one welcome our new left-handed overlords (4, Funny)

IainMH (176964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016283)


*extends left hand*

*makes a fist with the right hand* (1)

gibler (445031) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016352)

Isn't Osama Bin Laden left-handed? How sinister.

Re:I for one welcome our new left-handed overlords (1, Funny)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016392)

In Soviet Russia, the Left (hand) welcomes YOU!

Re:I for one welcome our new left-handed overlords (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016473)

In Korea, only old people are left-handed.

most dogs are left handed (2, Interesting)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016284)

i fact just about every creature in nature and everything in nature has "handedness"

only a "scientist" could attribute this to something recent like language skills.

Re:most dogs are left handed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016302)

Good monkey! Now say something coherent and I'll give you a banana!

Obligatory Simpsons Reference (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016326)

Troy: Gettin hungry Jimmy?
Jimmy: Uhh, Mr. McClure? I have a crazy friend who says its wrong to eat meat. Is he crazy?
Troy: Nooo, just ignorant. You see your crazy friend never heard of "The Food Chain". [Flash to a picture of "Food Chain", with all animals and arrows pointing to a silhouette of a human.] Just ask this scientician.
Scientician: [Looking up from a microscope.] Uhhh...

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/3F03.html

Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (3, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016296)

Since when has evolution* purposely chosen to do anything

*In case there are any Americans reading, so as not to offend I'll include the standard disclaimer that evolution is just a theory and it's equally likely we were created out of mud 6000 years ago and fossils are the result of God's sense of humour.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016307)

Replace Americans with Alabamains and you are closer to the proper stereotype. Seriously, nut jobs that want to convince you that something like an evolutionary process exist in almost any country, not just the States.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (2, Informative)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016316)

True. However, in most countries they don't approach 45% of the population. [atheists.org]

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (1)

rooijan (746599) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016365)

I was raised as a Catholic and am still a firm believer in creationism. I have no intention of starting a discussion about the religious issues here though. I am not a nut-job (at least, I don't think so) and I am not out to convince the world by the sword that my beliefs are right.

You don't think that labelling anyone who may have faith in a higher power (whether or not you agree with them) as a whacko is just a trifle intolerant? It really pains me to hear people immediately dismiss anyone (like myself) who holds to a set of religious beliefs. I cannot accept the notion that the entire sturcture of the universe down to the interaction of molecules we can't even detect properly all came about by accident. I don't think you are crazy because you can.

Many Christian people are tolerant of others and will quite happily do their own thing in peace without harming or affecting anyone who does not hold to their beliefs. How does that make us nut-jobs?

Re: Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016395)


> You don't think that labelling anyone who may have faith in a higher power (whether or not you agree with them) as a whacko is just a trifle intolerant?

Yep. You should only call them whacko when they maintain beliefs that have been refuted by huge piles of evidence, such as belief in a young earth or a global flood.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (2, Insightful)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016424)

I was raised as a Catholic and am still a firm believer in creationism...

Me too. But I ended believing such things as soon as I realized that the Wise Men were my parents. I can understand that you believe such things. But my tolerancy doesn't make you less fool.

I can understand a catholic saying "Big Bang was God stuff to create us all". Or a variation of that, that would make much more sense than all that crazy Genesis stuff. But we were NOT created on 6 days. There's enough touchable evidency of that. On the counterpart, you have an ancient book that has been proved many times to be wrong (when speaking about historical facts, not the religious content which is another business).

I am no more a catholic believer, but I know all about that (I grew for 9 years on a Jesuit boarding school) and I can say one thing about my Jesuit biology teachers: they didn't mention a single time the creationist theory. We studied deeply the current biology paradigm, as done in any other Spanish school. Things about the bible and religion had another place and another time; when speaking about science, our teachers taught us on the current scientific paradigm.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016428)

Consider the two options:
  1. Create people and animals by waving your hands and saying `let there be stuff'
  2. Create an incredibly simple system in which a combination of seemingly random events give rise to the evolution of consciousness.
Personally, I'd have more faith in a God who did the second - it's far more elegant - any God that opts for option 1 clearly has no sense of style. Assuming the existence of God, I'd say that belief in creationism is rather insulting to said being.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016518)

Welcome to the "Matrix"-style of theories. Supreme beings created a world simulation to test, study and observe something similar to their own existence. "Created after Him" in every sense of the word. Accept the fact that you the world be a simulation, where billions of simulated individuals are testing evolutionary algorithms for the supreme beings. Like we do with colored dots and bacteria, just with more style and polish ;)

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (1)

Rirath.com (807148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016493)

"I was raised as a Catholic and am still a firm believer in creationism. I have no intention of starting a discussion about the religious issues here though. I am not a nut-job (at least, I don't think so) and I am not out to convince the world by the sword that my beliefs are right. -- Many Christian people are tolerant of others and will quite happily do their own thing in peace without harming or affecting anyone who does not hold to their beliefs. How does that make us nut-jobs?"

I'm in the same boat and agree with your post completely, but it comes down to this: People can be jerks and dead set in their ways. Just as the hardcore Christian right can be absolute jerks in their convincing the world by the sword they are right, the non believers can be and often are equally intolerant and dead set against anything they don't believe in as well.

I always find a good way to annoy an Atheist in an open minded debate is to challenge him that not believing is in itself a faith. Just as the be an "individual" punk/goth fad became being just like everyone else. If one truly knows of the world's religions and chooses not to follow them, then it's still a very specific choice. A very specific choice they can't deviate from one bit, or else they're no longer part of the club. They'll stick to this even if that means denying anything and everything "supernatual" that they can't explain, unless it meets with "their" proof, and sometimes even still long after that.

Sounds rather familiar to the Christian right, if you ask me. So, all one can really do I suppose is try to avoid provoking the extremists. Unless you're up for a debate, they're really not much fun to be around. The Christian right casts out open minded Christians as "false", while the stone cold Atheistis call us fools for having an open mind and strong faith. As you say, there's more of us out there than people think... we just don't go causing a fuss to show off everytime we get the chance.

This is Slashdot, though. Can't expect understanding here.

Re:Evolution wants to be anthropomorphised? (0)

Hobadee (787558) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016384)

...OR we could have been created 1 second ago and God just stuck all these "memories" in our brains! Ever think about that one!? (I know - it screws with your mind!)

All we know is now and the future. Don't think about the past except to learn from their mistakes.

you can't assign purpose to an indeterminate (1)

DrunkClam (555170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016309)

process

dude, read the bible (1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016310)

we're not 5 million years old, that's a librul myth.

Re:dude, read the bible (3, Funny)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016320)

Yeah, well it's BUSH'S fault that he can't READ.

Re:dude, read the bible (1)

tarunthegreat2 (761545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016410)

Did you find out about that on them dang internets, billy ray?

I had never heard of this (1)

gtkuhn (823989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016313)

My girlfriend is left handed and her manner of speech can be at times... difficult. She tends to mix up words, even stuff like yes/no, did/didn't. She's a great artist and a poetic soul. Perhaps, it's her handedness to blame.

Re:I had never heard of this (3, Insightful)

DataCannibal (181369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016329)

Nothing to do with handedness, that's just the way wome are. You'll realise that as you get to know more of them :-)

Re:I had never heard of this (1)

stormi (837687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016477)

i wish i had a boyfriend, i wanna cuddle..... mebbe if i was left handed instead i'd look more alluring? hmmmm

Re:I had never heard of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016330)

Sorry dude. Your girlfriend is just another stupid cunt. I used to think mine was special too. I was wrong. You, too, will learn different.

Re:I had never heard of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016435)

Why can't we all just admit that we have never had a girlfriend and probably never will. So much denial...

Re:I had never heard of this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016337)

it's a neurological deficit called dyspraxia. Read it up and talk to her about it.

i am left handed and yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016317)

... i am better than you.

Re:i am left handed and yes... (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016441)

I'm ambidextrous. I'm better than both of you.

"Purposely"? (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016319)

And evolution has purposely kept them.
That sounds like evolution is something that deliberately picks what it thinks are good traits, and then decides to keep them around. In other words: God :)

Perhaps left-handedness doesn't have any advantages, but no drawbacks detrimental to survival either. That too would allow it to remain in the 'gene pool'.

Re:"Purposely"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016379)

Actually, being left-handed is detrimental to survival due to the increased accident rate which is in turn caused by tools being designed for right-handed people.

Re:"Purposely"? (3, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016394)

In the same way that gravity purposely decides what's balanced, and what will topple. You can call it God if you want, I just call it well-documented and well-researched science :)

Re:"Purposely"? (1)

obender (546976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016468)

You forgot to tell us what makes gravity work.

God? ot (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016418)

Not to flame but, like, that's possibly the weirdest interpretation of God that I've even come accross.
God=the Creator, fair enough.
God=Quantum uncertanty, plausable.
God=The big bang and that's it
God=Everything.
God=Picks and chooses what happens to us in our everyday life, compleatly against everything that I know! (well maybe I just don't know God), I know in the bible that Satan sat on one side and The Angel gabrail on the other, and the whole if you left eye causes you to sin then pluck it out stuff, but I'm sorry to break it to you, that holds about as much water as santa's non existant flying raindear, or the tooth fairys pixie dust.

Back on topic.

a 'leftie' may have s slight dissadvantage since it's that part of the brain that controls motor skills that also controls left handedness, it could be that they have to think in a slightly different way inorder to do things (especailly when trying to un-cork a bottle or use scissors!)

Poor lefty chimps... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016332)

...must be difficult to find lefthanded bananas

"Chimpanzees Shed New Light..." (2, Funny)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016343)

First time I've heard of IT helpdesk staff actually doing anything useful...

D.

Re:"Chimpanzees Shed New Light..." (3, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016356)

That's an outrageous comparison. Chimpanzees are capable of using simple tools and learning from their mistakes.

It's a preference, and is condemned in the Bible (5, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016346)

To suggest that left handedness is genetic is a socialist lie. It is condemned in the Bible, like being crippled and eating shellfish. Everyone knows that left handedness is a choice, a sinful lifestyle promoted by Satanic liberals. Even the scientific term, sinister, reveals it's Luciferian origin. Concerned parents must act now to stop children being taught to be left handed in schools, and to stop the media being overrun by positive depictions of left handedness. Would you want your child to be fondled by a left handed pedophile coming home from a sickening Sinster Pride march?

Order a copy of "What Liberals Don't Want You to Know about the Left Handed Agenda", by Salvation Publications, for only $99.99. Comes with guaranteed promise of Heaven and a free shotgun.

Re:It's a preference, and is condemned in the Bibl (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016461)

I know this is a troll, but somebody went and modded it up anyway...so I feel compelled to respond. Which was probably the point, so I'm a loser.

Even the scientific term, sinister, reveals it's Luciferian origin.

Sinister is derived from Latin, and means "left." That's all.

Re:It's a preference, and is condemned in the Bibl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016465)

Satire, not trolling

Re:It's a preference, and is condemned in the Bibl (1)

CountrySon (832124) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016482)

Laugh all you want, but my dad can remember kids being whacked on the (left) hand with a steel ruler in elementary school if they didn't use their right hands when writing.

It was a private religious school. I'll let you guess which religion.)

Excuse me, but... (0, Redundant)

Akki (722261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016357)

Evolution has no purpose. It just is.

speaking from the midline (4, Informative)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016359)

This is an interesting study but I'm not sure how relevant it is.
Humans have several areas of the brain where structure and therefore function differ vastly from other primates. Specifically the areas of the brain dealing with speech (Broca's and Wernicke's areas) and the connection between the two (arcuate fascicus). These areas have a definite correlation to handedness as a right-handed person has a 97% chance of having these speech structures on the left versus the right while in a left-handed person has a 50-50 chance of this (if my neuroanatomy is correct). This is why speech mapping must be performed on patients who will undergo neurosurgery near possible speech centres, for example in a temporal lobectomy.

Re:speaking from the midline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016523)

Your anatomy is basically correct. One other thing to point out is a tendency of lefties to have slightly larger corpus collosa -- (geek trans: bigger bus connecting left and right hemispheres).

What the hell have these people got against... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016376)

left handers??

From the article:
"There must be a reason they have hung around so long."
"...something goes awry in fetal development."
"...and other disorders associated with abnormal brain patterns"

I'm detecting a distinct anti-left handed sentiment in this article. It makes me wonder how much of that "social stigma" is just historical. --e

This is great news! (2, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016386)

My puzzling habit of throwing my poop with my left hand is one step closer to being explained!

Thank you, science monkey!

Slashdot Left Handers (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016389)

It'd be intersting to know what percentage of Slashdot users are left handed, my guess is it's more than the population average.

While at Georgia Tech, I was amazed at how many left handed people their were in all my classes. Being left-handed myself, I had always noticed that the percentage around me approached approximately what wikipedia says is the average, or 10-13%. I'd say at Tech it was more like 30-40%.

For the most part they were all a bunch o toolbags, but luckily I'm in good company with Ned Flanders...

I've been thinking of starting a lawsuit for reparations for all the discrimination myself and all my left-handed bretheren have suffered over the years. Society's first attempt to make me feel bad was those damn right-handed scissors in Kindergarden, and it hasn't stopped. We're talking decades of trauma hear, and this didn't happen to my ancestors. Hell, just think about where the attached pen is next time you sign a credit card reciept.

Equal rights for Lefties! Affirmative action for lefties! Welfare for Lefties! State funded concubines for Lefties! Handedness as a criteria for college admissions!

Re:Slashdot Left Handers (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016506)

Bart is left handed, too.

Does evolution have a purpose? (0, Redundant)

Burb (620144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016393)

"And evolution has purposely kept them"

Funny how we keep on anthropomorphising what most of you believe is an impersonal process.

i'm ambidextrous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016409)

I haven't read the article and don't really care to.

Anyway, I write and use the mouse with my right hand, and masturbate with my left hand. This has been going on since I was 10 (about 14 years ago). So how am I doing in evolutionary terms?

No I won't login. I will not have Google cache my name and the word 'masturbate' in any search result!

Prologs programmers are left-handed? (1)

Bwian_of_Nazareth (827437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016411)

Taking a course of "Logical programming" (the theory behind Prolog language), I realised that of those 5 people attending, there are 4 of us left-handed. Do you think this can be linked to the fact that logical programming requires different mental skills that are more common with left-handedness?

Re:Prologs programmers are left-handed? (2, Funny)

samurphy21 (193736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016462)

I think it's more likely that only those of us with our brains in backwards could ever see fit to sit through an entire course of Prolog.

OT: Prolog joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016489)

How many prolog programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

no.

db (1)

kristopher (723047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016440)

What about people who are ambidextrous?

What about ambidextrous? (3, Funny)

smacktits (737334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016446)

I'm ambidextrous, and I'm in MENSA. Admittedly I was forced to learn to use my left hand while taking several years to recover from an injury to my right hand, so it's not 100% natural. Does that count?

It's fun to be writing something in front of someone who doesn't know, and switch hands and continue perfectly. The look on their faces is priceless ;)

Re:What about ambidextrous? (3, Insightful)

dJOEK (66178) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016484)

why do mensa members feel the need to constantly plug that fact?

The fact that you're in mensa really has nothing to do with being ambidextrous.

I suggest you try therapy, since you obviously have some problems to adapt to society, and it might wipe that smug "I'm-smarter-than-you" grin of your face

And try using your capabilities for something useful, other than doing monkey tricks with your writing. they're really only feeble attempts to make other people feel inferior, and hardly impress other intelligent people.

find a cure for cancer, then come back to brag

Why do most creationists look like monkeys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016450)

Is it proof that God exists and has a sense of humor?

Math vs Art? (1)

jsrockford (161750) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016463)

This is a not a very scientific observation but I noticed as I progressed to higher levels of college math that the number of lefties seemed much higher than average. I've also noticed that many actors seem to be left-handed, a higher percentage than the rest of the population. Anybody else seen this?

Re:Math vs Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016500)

In comparison with other races, a higher percentage of whites are left handed.

Ah yes (1)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016475)

The very thing that gives me my online identity. Vindication at last. Stop asking why I'm so efficient at hitting WASD. Evolution says I just fragged you.

To the laterality-interested... (2, Informative)

j.leidner (642936) | more than 9 years ago | (#11016501)

...I recommend the following two things:
  • in London, there's a shop called 'All things left-handed'; they have special scissors for left-handed people and other hillarious items
  • there's a great book about laterality called 'Left Hand, Right Hand' by Chris McManus (nomen est omen -- the Latin for 'hand' is manus ;-). Here's the Website of the book: click me [righthandlefthand.com]

--
Try Nuggets [mynuggets.net] , the natural-language SMS search engine. Answers to your questions per SMS in 10 seconds.

third gen lefty writes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11016503)

Interesting article though I disagree with the statement about LH persons being less analytical.

I'm a third gen lefty (tree: PGM, F, myself). My eldest son fell from near my side of the family tree and he (now 6) has only ceased to be ambidexterous in the last two months. He went to the dark side and uses his right hand to throw and write. Still bats and kicks left however so maybe he'll make it to the major leagues yet. Still holding out hope for the newborn daughter.

Anyway, I'm PhD physicist, my Dad (LH) is a very talented mechanical designer/engineer. Grandmother was a puzzle wizard. If you look at PhD level scientists you will find more than the nominal 10% LH... which does not support the "less analytical" assertion. On the other hand (pun?) perhaps we LH are less analytical but in return we are given better gifts to see analytic tasks as in a more wholistic light. Maybe this is why Maxwell's Equations, classical E&M, the Standard Model Lagrangian and GR are as beautiful as Sunday Afternoon by Seurat or as magnificent as DaVinci's David to me.

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