Everyone knows whether they are left- or right-handed. Most of us have an educated guess whether we are left- or right-brained. A left brained person is expected to think mostly in terms of words, numbers and other structured symbols. A right brained person is more visual and creative. If you haven’t a clue which description best applies to you, look at your hand. For most people, the dominant hand is linked to the dominant half of the brain, although on the opposite side, thanks to the brain’s asymmetry. Thus, right handed people are largely left brain thinkers.
However, not many of us know whether our left or right eye is dominant. But we do have a dominant eye. In 70% of us, our dominant eye is also linked to the opposite side of the brain. However, studies have shown that this is not an optimal arrangement. People whose dominant eye was linked to their “spare” half of the brain actually had detectably better visual recognition of characters, making them faster readers.
Picture your brain as a PC with two CPUs. One is the main CPU, on which the operating system and simple tasks are performed. Large or low priority tasks are offloaded to the spare CPU, the back of your mind. Controlling your dominant hand and your dominant eye are applications that retrieve, process, interpret and react to input. The implication of the study is that having both applications running on the same CPU puts too much load on it, limiting its bandwidth. When each application has a dedicated CPU, their performance improves.
As a left brained, right handed, left eyed person, these findings gave me a lot to think about.