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Lefty Tests

We have seen quite a few tests to show how left-handed people are and whether they have an special skills as a result. We have included our favourites below.

  How Left-Handed Are You?
Thurston's hand test - thinking in 3D
Kanizsa's triangle - how the right-brain creates things

How Left-Handed Are You?

Have you ever chatted with your right-handed friends about being left-handed and that they scoff and say that they are completely right-handed? Well, you may be able to prove that they are less right-handed than they think. We have some fun tests and games that you could try with them to show that there are varying degrees of handedness.

It is only the dominance of one side of the brain that decides which side of the body you prefer to use. However, as we still have to use all the brain to fully control our bodies, we use the other side more than we think.

Get together with a group of friends and have a go at the following exercises. Remember that each task must be carried out instantly and without thinking about it.

  1. Imagine the centre of your back is itching. Which hand do you scratch it with?
  2. Interlock your fingers. Which thumb is uppermost?
  3. Imagine you are applauding. Start clapping your hands. Which hand is uppermost?
  4. Wink at and imaginary friend straight in front of you. Which eye does the winking?
  5. Put your hands behind your back, one holding the other. Which hand is doing the holding?
  6. Someone in front of you is shouting but you cannot hear the words. Cup your ear to hear better. Which ear do you cup?
  7. Count to three on your fingers, using the forefinger of the other hand. Which forefinger do you use?
  8. Tilt your head to one shoulder. Which shoulder does it touch?
  9. Fixate a small distant object with your eyes and point directly at it with your forefinger. Now close one eye. Now change eyes. Which eye was open when the fingertip remained in line with the small object? (when the other eye, the non-dominant one, is open and the dominant eye is closed, the finger will appear to move to one side of the object.)
  10. Fold your arms. Which forearm is uppermost?

If you have always considered yourself to be right or left-handed you will now probably discovered that your body is less than total in its devotion to the left or right side. Whichever hand you use to write with, the chances are that you were not able to be 'right' 10 times.

Thurston's hand test - thinking in 3D

The left-handed brain's mastery of the visual has an important benefit - it can "see" three dimensionally.

In Thurston's hand test, you are asked to identify which pictures are of left hands and which are of right hands. Your right-handed brain is at a loss to handle this problem, but your left-handed brain can actually rotate these drawings in imaginary space to solve the test - have a go!


Kanizsa's triangle - how the right-brain creates things

Here's another example showing how your left-handed brain can even create things that don't exist.

If you can see the white triangle - the one with its apex pointing up - it's because your left-handed brain has created that triangle to unify what is otherwise simply a collection of angles and PacMan shapes. There is, in fact, no white triangle there.


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