Sunday, 2 January 2005

Brain Praises Powell

Actually I think Colin's being doing a very difficult job at least as well as anyone else could. (See newspaper article) But if anyone can prove me wrong, it's Condoleeza Rice.

And on the subject of Brains, to be even handed, an article that adds more grist to the mill set in motion by a previous post of mine :
New research in chimpanzees says being left-handed has little to do with the language part of the brain, as has been thought, and more to do with motor skills.

That means lefties have probably been around much longer than believed -- at least 5 million years, when scientists say humans and apes branched on the primate family tree. And evolution has purposely kept them.

"Being left-handed must confer some advantages," said William Hopkins, a psychologist at Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center, who led the studies. "There must be a reason they have hung around so long."

Nobody knows what causes about one in 10 people to have dominant left hands. Some scientists say it's hereditary, though specific genes have not been found. Others say something goes awry in fetal development.

Lefties are more likely to have autism, dyslexia and schizophrenia, Hopkins said, but they are also more likely to be Mensa members and talented musicians. The pros and cons are thought to stem from left-handed people being "right brained" -- more creative but less analytical. Generally, one side of the brain controls the other side of the body.
Another study at Yerkes determined that chimps in general have more of the asymmetries found in people's brains than previously thought, backing up the results about left-handedness. Both studies appear in a recent issue of the journal Behavioral Neuroscience.
And the findings reinforce the idea that, while left-handed people historically suffered from social stigma, nature must have had a reason to maintain them. Think of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Mike Vick and former President Bill Clinton; both are southpaws.
Though some would disagree that Bill Clinton was a paragon of excellence. Do I detect a certain Leftist bias (and I don't mean handedness)? Then again, I'm ambidextrous - or rather, ambi-clumsy, and have as much knowledge of Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks as I do about Collingwood Fly Halves. Or the Worcester Warriors for that matter. Unlike John Brain, I'm not into football of any code.

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