Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Left/Right (Handedness)

chez Nadezhda mentions an article titled "Interhemispheric interaction and beliefs on our origin: Degree of handedness predicts beliefs in creationism versus evolution." Laterality, vol. 9, pp. 433-447 [sub reqd].

It turns out that a growing body of neurological evidence shows that, while the left hemisphere of our brain maintains our current beliefs about the world, the right hemisphere is responsible for playing "Devil's Advocate": detecting anomalies with those left hemisphere beliefs and forcing an updating of beliefs when appropriate. In order for this belief updating to occur, the right hemisphere has to interact with the left, and strong right-handedness is associated with decreased interaction between the two sides of the brain (hence, the lesser degree of belief updating in strong righties).

- Stephen Christman, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Toledo

Which might partially explain why certain folks on the extremes of many political movements are so intransigent.

Update: I'm a southpaw, so maybe I'm easy(ier) to get along with.


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