Why mental health professionals should know if you’re left-handed

Your brains may be wired differently

Why mental health professionals should know if you’re left-handed
Stars Insider

17/10/18 | StarsInsider

HEALTH Therapy

According to a recent study, certain medical treatments for mental health issues can be ineffective or even dangerous when applied to anyone who isn’t entirely right-handed. This is roughly half of the global population.

There has been a lot of research since the 1970s that shows the connection between each hemisphere of the brain and the emotions we experience. However, many of these studies have almost exclusively focused on right-handed people. According to Daniel Casasanto, associate professor of human development and psychology at Cornell University, this has greatly affected the results.

According to Casasanto, the way our brain works is linked to our preferred hand. The way emotions are divided between the hemispheres of our brain differs between left-handed and right-handed people.

The same goes for ambidextrous people and people who only have a partial preference for one hand over the other. The world population is about 50% fully right-handed, while the rest is left-handed or anything in between.

Casasanto warns for medical treatments that focus on the stimulation of one hemisphere. He thinks it’s possible for these treatments to have an adverse effect on left-handed people and no effect on those without a dominant hand. He wishes for more research to be done so we can have a better understanding of how our preferential hand is related to our brain activity.

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