South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (Bulgaria)
Abstract. Cerebral lateralization is associated with differences in brain organization and handedness is seen as its main marker. In order to verify the hypothesis that differences in brain organization tend to be associated with different patterns of interests and abilities, 379 normal left-handed subjects (221 women, aged 18 – 72 years) and 366 normal right-handed subjects (256 women, aged 18 – 72 years) were interviewed about their interests and special abilities. The following interests and special abilities were studied: singing, playing an instrument, dancing, painting, acting, foreign language skills, sports skills, and writing poetry.The results in the left-handers group showed that there is a significantly higher percentage of subjects with a pronounced interest in playing an instrument. In the group of right-handers, the study demonstrated a significantly higher percentage of subjects specifically interested in learning foreign languages. With respect to the abilities, a significantly higher incidence of participants with vocal, instrumental, sports, and foreign language skills was found in the left-handers’ group. Differences in functional cerebral organization between left- and right-handers were suggested as possible explanation for the relationship of handedness with special abilities.
Keywords: handedness; interests; musical abilities; foreign language skills; sports skills; cerebral lateralization