Why aren't all human-beings ambidextrous?

Studies show that only 10% of the population is left-handed.

The rest of the population is right-handed.

But have you ever wondered how many people are ambidextrous and why?

The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith says it is an interesting fact about humans that we do have a dominant hand.

READ: Naked Scientist: Why yawning is contageous

What we do know is that it is all to do with which side of your brain is dominant. And because one side of your brain controls the opposite side of your body, the dominant side of your brain seems to be the part of your brain where language is based.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

And in the vast majority of humans, 90% of us, language is in the left side of the brain. That means the dominant hemisphere of our brain is the left side.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

And therefore your dominant hand, that you prefer to use is your right hand. That's not to say though that you can't become very good at using the opposite hand.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

We have probably become very good at doing things with our right hand because we practice, because we prefer to use it.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

But actually, in people who have a disability or can't use their preferred hand and have to use the other hand, a friend of mine broke her arm for example and because she couldn't use her preferred hand, for example, she had to learn to the right because it was exam time at the university.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

And she said had to learn to take lectures and do exams with the wrong hand, and she said although it felt terrible to start with, she became quite good and could write neatly with the wrong hand quite quickly.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

And until it became ok to be left-handed, 100 years ago, people with left-handedness were regarded as grossly abnormal or as if there was something wrong with them. And we used to punish these people and tie their hand behind their back to stop them using their hand.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

In the modern era, we now know that people who are left-handed, because they were forced to become quite adaptable to a right-handed world because they were in the minority, became quite good at using the 'wrong' hand, their right hand, to fit into our world.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

So actually we are ambidextrous, but we just have a prefered hand when we do things.

Dr Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

Listen below to hear what else The Naked Scientist had to say...


This article first appeared on 702 : Why aren't all human-beings ambidextrous?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Is serial cheating genetic?

Is serial cheating genetic?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, looks at whether there a genetic basis to people not being monogamous.

Naked Scientist: Here is what may be the cause of your bad body odour

Naked Scientist: Here is what may be the cause of your bad body odour

The Naked Scientist answers this and other questions.

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, answers this and other questions from listeners.

Author delves into sex, religion, politics and everyday homophobia in new book

Author delves into sex, religion, politics and everyday homophobia in new book

Siya Khumalo is the author of 'You Have to be Gay to Know God'. He discusses the experiences which inspired his moving first book.

Naked Scientist: Here is why birds don't get electrocuted on a power line

Naked Scientist: Here is why birds don't get electrocuted on a power line

Naked Scientists Chris Smith answers this and other scientific questions.

Getting older and losing your memory? Stave off memory loss by socialising!

Getting older and losing your memory? Stave off memory loss by socialising!

Strong social ties may preserve your memory as you grow older memory in old age, according to a new study.

Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like

Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like

Researchers at the University of Kent in England, have deciphered what is said to be a 66 million year old mystery.

Naked Scientist: Have you wondered why you don't sneeze whilst asleep?

Naked Scientist: Have you wondered why you don't sneeze whilst asleep?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, answers this and other questions from listeners.

[LISTEN] SA to host global science festival

[LISTEN] SA to host global science festival

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver the latest scientific research to members of the public in a fun, accessible way.

How the discovery of DNA 65 years ago totally revolutionised medical science

How the discovery of DNA 65 years ago totally revolutionised medical science

Dr Chris Smith (aka the Naked Scientist) say DNA is like a 'recipe book to life'.

The Naked Scientist: Here is why water tastes colder after eating a mint

The Naked Scientist: Here is why water tastes colder after eating a mint

Listeners satisfied their curiosity about the world of science, throwing questions on varied subjects at Chris Smith.

Why voluptuous women should embrace their body shape

Why voluptuous women should embrace their body shape

Body Activist Nomalungelo Mkhize shares her journey and how she has encouraged curvy women to love their bodies.

 Here's why fruit flies love your wine as much as you do

Here's why fruit flies love your wine as much as you do

The Naked Scientist Chris Smith answers this and other questions.

How long does it take for muscles to recover after gym?

How long does it take for muscles to recover after gym?

The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith answers callers science questions.

Catch The Naked Scientist live in 702 Joburg studio on Thursday

Catch The Naked Scientist live in 702 Joburg studio on Thursday

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, will be live in the Joburg studio with Eusebius from 10am.

'Large groups of students wont be affected by UCT fee increase'

'Large groups of students wont be affected by UCT fee increase'

Prof Daya Reddy Acting Vice Chancellor at UCT explains how their fees increase will be implemented.

Getting to know SA's prolific writer Zukiswa Wanner

Getting to know SA's prolific writer Zukiswa Wanner

Eusebius McKaiser chats with author Zukiswa Wanner about what inspires her much loved novels and the themes expressed in each.

Popular articles
'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

'Evidence is solid. Poor people’s money was used illegally. Shivambu benefitted'

Ray White interviews Pauli van Wyk, an investigative journalist with Scorpio at Daily Maverick.

Treatment for ADHD more accessible to kids in 'privileged' schools

Treatment for ADHD more accessible to kids in 'privileged' schools

Despite the known efficacy of treatment, access to health care and treatment for ADHS is limited for many children.

Two men get away with R70 000 in robbery at Cape Town's World of Birds

Two men get away with R70 000 in robbery at Cape Town's World of Birds

Walter Mangold, the owner of the popular tourist attraction in Hout Bay, was targeted by two men on the premises on Sunday.

Judge Dennis Davis explains estate duty when your spouse dies

Judge Dennis Davis explains estate duty when your spouse dies

Some recommendations by the Davis Tax Committee were met with concerns from members of the public on how they will be affected.

ANC candidates for 2019 must not repeat mistakes of the last 10 years - Rasool

ANC candidates for 2019 must not repeat mistakes of the last 10 years - Rasool

WC ANC election head Ebrahim Rasool outlines the type of candidates the party wants representing it in Parliament.

Couple's 20 000 km cycle tour from Amsterdam ends in the Mother City

Couple's 20 000 km cycle tour from Amsterdam ends in the Mother City

A Knysna couple who cycled 20 000 Km across 20 countries finally arrived in Cape Town on Sunday ending their 18 months journey.

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Here's how to check your load shedding schedule in Cape Town

Eskom has warned that more power cuts can be expected as maintenance continues over the next twelve months.