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Caitlin Flynn
December 01, 2016 3:07 pm

Aside from the fact that I was robbed of the opportunity to use colorful gel pens as a tween (it was rough, guys, let me tell you), I absolutely love being left-handed. Of course, I didn’t grow up during the era when left-handedness was associated with the devil, so I guess you could say I had it pretty easy. But, we do have some traits that set us apart from right-handers because if you’re left handed, your brain may work differently.

You may have already heard chatter about the link between left-handedness and creativity because, well, us lefties like to brag (uh, I mean talk) about it. But, don't take our word for it — research published in The American Journal of Psychology suggests that lefties are better at divergent thinking, which is a cognitive hallmark of creativity.

There’s another interesting take on why left-handers may be more creative than others — although it’s purely speculative at this point. Growing up left-handed makes us different from our peers and fosters what’s known as an “outsider’s mindset.” This can make us more likely to embrace independence and non-conformity — qualities that are associated with creative thinking.

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But wait, there's more! Researched published in the journal Neuropsychology suggests that left-handers are quicker thinkers because we tend to have faster connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which means we can process information more quickly. This cognitive advantage is an asset in interactive sports like boxing, fencing, tennis and baseball.

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Another important finding could be hugely beneficial for doctors treating left-handed patients with anxiety and other mental illnesses.

The brains of left-handers and right-handers organize emotions differently. The motivation of left-handers is associated with greater activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, while the opposite is true for right-handers. “Given what we show here, this treatment, which helps right-handers, may be detrimental to left-handers ― the exact opposite of what they need,” psychologist Geoffrey Brookshire says.

We may not be aiding and abetting the devil in secret, but science shows that left-handers are different from their right-handed peers in some fascinating ways. It looks like our mothers were right when they told us we were special!

H/T Huffington Post

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