Left-Handed? It May Matter for Mental Health


A study conducted by researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, suggests treatments for the most common mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, could be ineffective, or even produce the opposite of the desired effect, in people who are left-handed.

According to the Cornell researchers, the problem is that most studies examining the brain and human emotion have involved significantly more right-handed people than left-handed people. These studies have shown that specific emotions are linked to each of the brain’s two hemispheres. For example, emotions like happiness, pride, and anger “live” on the left side of the brain, and emotions like disgust and fear are housed on the right side. But, in fact, this model is actually reversed in people who are left-handed.

This theory could have important implications for people undergoing a treatment for depression and anxiety called neural therapy, which involves mild electrical or magnetic stimulation to the left side of the brain to encourage certain emotional responses. In left-handed people, this treatment would increase other emotions instead.

Sourced from: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences