Thank you for sharing, Palinurus. I just remembered that when I was 11-13 I played accordion for one year (there was no money in my family for piano), but the the instrurment I played was of the concert variety , i.e. very big, and it was very difficult to manage. The siigt of me playing was probably so pitiful: only the top of my head was visible :) that my mother decided to discontinue lessons. Maybe, this peculiar feature that I mentioned above appeared after that year?Palinurus said:I hope I'm not going too far while trying to share some info on your questions, Olesya. I happen to have some personal experience that might be relevant for your inquiry although I cannot answer everything.Olesya said:<snip>
I have a question. After the completion of the actual questions, there was a request to answer questions about how tall someone is, and what surprised me the most was "What is your handedness?" and the choices given were:
I didn't really know how to answer this question. When I was a child I was right-handed. The only peculiar thing was that when clapping as in applauding, my left hand always went over my right hand. Over the years, especially, in the last 15 years or so (and this process seems to accelerate) I've noticed that I use my left hand more often and for certain tasks, like holding a cigarette, for example :) I can't say that I'm using right and left hands equally, because I tried writing with my left hand and the results are incomprehensible still, and it's very hard to do.
So, at first, while doing the test I put right handed. Then, I just changed the answers to handedness question putting ambidextrous, or N/a ( I'm not left handed in a usual sense) and the results were the same.
Then, from the article on SOTT "Lefty or Righty? Genes for handedness found" http://www.sott.net/article/266346-Lefty-or-Righty-Genes-for-handedness-found we read
Therefore, it maybe that if there are genes that define left or right handedness, they might be subjects to epigenetic changes in the environment (impressions and/or influences) that change wiring of the brain?The findings suggest that the same genes that affect the left-hand symmetry of organs in the body also affects the way the brain is wired. That, in turn, affects whether someone's right or left hand is dominant.
"Handedness is an outward reflection of brain asymmetries for motor coordination," Brandler said. "If you're right-handed, it means you're left hemisphere dominant for motor coordination. That's because our brains are cross-wired."
Still, to truly tease out the roots of left-handedness, researchers will need to untangle the role of hundreds of other genes and isolate environmental factors, he said.
First off, my father was left handed by nature originally but got forced in his childhood to do most things right handed (learned response). Later on in life when he gained sufficient independence, he started to change hands so to speak for a growing number of things, like writing, drawing, painting --in short all things that really mattered to him-- but did not do so in trivial matters like brushing teeth, combing hairs, opening and closing doors, and such. You get the picture I hope. In a very peculiar and selective way he effectively had become ambidextrous. He also was extremely 'evenhanded' mentally and emotionally as far as my observations go. Or should I say: focused, observant and centered within, instead?
I myself on the other hand was genetically predisposed right handed and I still do most things with my right hand. But from an early age (8½ yo) I started to learn and play the violin which is a predominantly left hand exercise. I continued playing daily for several hours until about 24 years of age when my student activities no longer permitted me regular practice every day and eventually (very soon really) I had to give up playing the instrument completely as one's skills rapidly deteriorate without sufficient (daily) practice. Nevertheless, I retained a strongly trained left hand which I can use for a number of things other right handers can not do as easily -- but in no way do I consider myself to be ambidextrous. To give just one example: I always use my left hand to control my computer mouse while surfing and browsing, so that I can concurrently note down things with a pencil in my right hand if needed.
I'm sure people who play the piano or any other keyboard instrument with all fingers simultaneously (including typewriters/computers) can relate similar stories.
I presume there are consequences of all this regarding the wiring of the brain but I'm not able to speculate about any of them. Maybe others could?
Finally, I seem to remember to have read long ago some posts from members telling about their experiences with exercises in doing normal things in an off-hand way, so to speak. Little things they normally did right handed were tried to be accomplished with the other hand and vice versa. I did a search for those posts but wasn't successful. Maybe other members have a better recollection than I have and could provide a link? The aim of those exercises was twofold I think: first to realize directly and personally how very mechanical our daily routines are and secondly to try to do things differently in order to break through this mechanical nature of our movements to free up space for rearranging things, or for evolving even if memory serves.
Hope this helps a bit. :)
EDIT: minor spelling.
And it looks like this topic, i.e. how handedness of a person, maybe, related to some of the psychopathological conditions, is not off the topic entirely, osit. Here _http://www.livescience.com/5274-ancient-lefties-history-obamas-handedness.html in "Ancient Lefties: The History of Obama’s Handedness" we read:
I think it is too simplistic to say that if left-handed is psychopathological, and if right-handed means normal. But there is something to it, osit. And how it is connected with the suggestion that the universe (maybe, visible universe) favors left-handed isomers? _http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/10/18/182207/analysis-of-galaxy-spin-reveals-universe-might-be-left-handedSomething sinister is going on, and newly-inaugurated President Obama is behind it.
From the Latin for left, "sinistra," southpaw Obama is another notch for the column of left-handed presidents, now totaling eight — a proportion (out of all 43 men who have been POTUS) that is well above their representation in the total population, which hovers around 10 percent.
(Let's count James A. Garfield as a lefty, although some say he was ambidextrous and others say he was a lefty; many ambis are lefties who learn to do some tasks with their right hands.)
In fact, every president since 1974 with the exception of Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush has been left-handed, as is Obama's former Republican opponent Sen. John McCain. Al Gore is too.
Is it just a coincidence, or is there something about being left-handed that can make for a more presidential demeanor?
Some evolutionary advantage, whether overall greater intelligence or language skills, has kept a stable group of lefties for at least the past 200,000 years, said Chris McManus, professor of psychology and medical education at University College London.
Left-handed tools chipped 500,000 years ago
There have been lefties for as long as there have humans, historians agree.
Some of the oldest evidence of left-handedness comes from Kenya, where of a 500,000 year-old cache of 54 stone tools made by one of our pre-human ancestors, six (or about 11 percent) were chipped using the left hand. Similarly, Neanderthals working with meat and stone tools more than 150,000 years ago left marks on their teeth at left and right angles – indicating opposite hand use – in almost perfect proportion with today's 9:1 ratio.
Paleolithic cave paintings from France and Spain also hint that lefties walked among our ancestors about 30,000 years ago. Studying a collection of so-called negative hand drawings on the cave walls – similar to tracing one hand with the other – scientists found that individuals drew their left hand much more frequently than the right.
The laundry list of lefties goes on through history, with records telling us that a number of famous ancient figures probably favored their southpaw as well, from Alexander the Great to Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor.
Though ancient sample sizes are small and poor estimates of the exact proportion of lefties, the existence of left-handedness is clear even hundreds of thousands of years ago, McManus said.
Left tied to language
Despite its long history, left-handedness is a uniquely human trait. Chimpanzees and gorillas, with whom we share an ancestor and a number of common physical attributes, don't seem to favor one hand over the other.
Instead, left-handedness may have developed along with another characteristic known just to humans – language.
Most people process language in the left side of their brain, the hemisphere that also controls the right side of the body, and have done so presumably since humans started chatting a few hundred thousand years ago. Whichever gene made the left side of our brains responsible for language also played a role in making our right side dominant, experts such as McManus believe.
Though a specific left-handed gene has yet to be found, the trait to choose one hand over the other is likely inherited, agree scientists. Left-handed parents are far more likely to produce left-handed children, and those children appear to begin favoring that hand in the womb, according to a 2004 study on 10-week-old fetuses.
More recent research suggests that, while developing, the two sides of the brain actually "fight" for specialized control of certain functions, such as handedness, with the left side (which controls the right — are you following?) more often coming out on top.
Interestingly, even when the right side wins, the left brain often shares some of the duties, studies have shown. So while right-handed people usually process language exclusively in the left side of their brain, lefties process language mostly in the right but partly on the left as well.
That preferential wiring may make lefties more adept at certain skills required for leadership according to McManus, who wrote about his theories in his book "Right Hand, Left Hand" (Harvard UniversityPress; 2002).
My apologies to the moderators, if it is off topic. :) I couldn't find a corresponding thread on the Forum.