Palm Reading

Reports on a study by psychiatrist P.S.B. Sarma asserting that mixed-handedness in middle-school boys may be a sign of academic troubles ahead. Possible defects in the corpus callosum based on ambidexterity.

By Peter Doskoch, published September 1, 1996 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

About one boy in 30 writes with his right hand but throws with his left. This type of mixed-handedness, believes a Chicago psychiatrist, is more than a sign of academic troubles ahead.

According to a new study, middle-school lads who write rightly and throw lefty may be more likely than their peers to read and spell poorly. Psychiatrist P. S. B. Sarma, M.D., professor at Chicago Medical School, thinks that this type of ambidexterity could indicate minor defects in the corpus callosum, which acts as the switchboard between the brain's right and left hemispheres. Oddly, mixed-handedness doesn't seem to affect girls' language skills. Sarma's explanation: female brains don't divvy up tasks between the two halves as much as male brains do.

Edited by Peter Doskoch