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Left & Right

Anne Strieber, (who is right-handed) was told by her neurologist that being left-handed is a higher stage of human evolution, because lefties use their ENTIRE brains to do everything, not just the opposite sides from righties, as they once thought. But sometimes, the right hand really may not know what the left hand is doing.

Scientists have learned that hand relies on a different set of sensory inputs to control its movement. In right-handed people, their dominant hand was found to be more dependent on vision for its guidance, while the left, non-dominant, hand was guided by body-based sensations from muscles, joints and skin.

Researcher Susan Brown says, "We think you can see this in the way a right-hander typically opens a jar. The preferred hand is usually monitored by vision as it twists off the lid while the non-preferred hand holds and stabilizes the jar's position using information from sensory receptors within the arm itself."

Handedness comes from the way your brain is structured, which is why earlier attempts to get everyone to write with their right hand often backfired. The preferred hand and arm is capable of more speed, strength and efficiency than the non-preferred one, perhaps because it gets more use.

Research about how the two halves of the body are controlled could help stroke victims who lose the ability to move one side of their bodies. If the arms use different senses, perhaps vision-based tasks should be used to rehabilitate the preferred arm and body-based tasks for the non-preferred arm. It may shed some light on how handedness in humans evolved.

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