You might be interested in taking the quiz I used. Simply answer L, R, or N (for No preference). A high number of R’s means you have a dominant left motor strip, and vice versa.
1. With which hand do you write?
2. With which hand do you throw a ball?
3. When dealing cards, which hand doles out the cards? (Notice that the thumb of the less dominant hand does a skillful job of edging each card off the deck. Try dealing with the other hand to help you appreciate this.)
4. Which hand for scissors? (This is a fun one to play with if you’re a righty. Find a pair of steel-blade scissors—not shears—and try to cut something using your left hand.)
5. Which foot kicks a ball? (If you’re a soccer player, you know how the weaker foot can become about as strong as the dominant one.)
6. Which hand on the toothbrush? (Wouldn’t N make the most sense here?)
7. Which hand loops a belt? (Yes, you can be a lefty or righty belt-looper. A demonstration would help here, but this ought to be clear enough: if you push the tongue of the belt across your waist to the left, answer R.)
8. Which hand holds a hammer?
9. Which leg goes into pants first? (Try this tomorrow morning!)
10. If a pair of your shoes are side by side, which one do you slip on first? (This is a great example of the dumb brain. Why should we have a preference for this? There’s no advantage. None. Just feels right.)
11. Clap. Do it again. More hearty this time. Which hand is on top? That hand is the dominant one. (Next time you’re with a group, let’s say at the Thanksgiving table, ask everyone to clap, then ask them to all switch at once so that their less dominant hand is on top. The difference in sound is striking.)
12. Which arm goes into a jacket first? (Try this. Pay attention. Then try slipping on the jacket with the less dominant arm first. You’ll feel like a kindergartener again.)
13. Which hand holds an apple? (Hard to believe that we have a preference for simply holding something, but we do. Try the other hand, and you’ll see.)
14. Which hand to sprinkle salt?
I encourage students to pay attention throughout the day and to come in with their own examples. If you’d like to try this yourself and comment, I’d love to hear. One righty student has taken this a step further: she’s been writing with her left hand for several days now.
We discussed the functions of many other sections of the brain, but the most fascinating was the role of the thick bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres, the corpus callosum. In some rare cases, doctors sever those nerves to prevent seizures, and the hemispheres then operate independently. Two brains. One brain has no idea what the other brain knows. Devastating. Life-changing. Yet the resilient brain, or brains, somehow adapt, able to make sense of a divided world.
You’d think that the rest of us, with our unified brains, could learn to be so accepting of differences.