Monday, June 23, 2008

An Interesting Trend

The Sun reports on an interesting trend in recent presidential politics, the prevalence and success of left-handers. In this election, both Barack Obama and John McCain are left-handed. An excerpt:
Though left-handers comprise just 10% of the population, they are dominating presidential politics. Their recent success transcends ideology. Since 1974, presidents Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton have all favored their left hands, while President Carter and the current President Bush are righties. The trait is also not exclusive to winning candidates: Vice President Gore is left-handed, as are past presidential contenders Robert Dole, John Edwards, Bill Bradley, and Ross Perot.

Researchers who have studied handedness have found links to genetics and to brain function, but there is no prevailing theory to explain the plethora of left-handed commanders in chief in recent decades. Yet the trend is more than a statistical anomaly…

Studies have shown that whereas righties favor the left hemisphere of their brain, which controls language, left-handers are more likely to have bilateral brain function, which could allow them to visualize problems more broadly and with more complexity. A higher percentage of mathematicians and scientists are left-handed, and the same is true for artists.

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