"The right half of the brain controls the left half of the body. This means that only left handed people are in their right mind."
Just like how a person is usually either right or left-handed, are you aware that one of your eyes tends to be more dominant when compared to the other? It's usually referred to as "eyedness" or ocular dominance and there is no shortage of ways to determine which one of your peepers is the boss. If you don't know how to, you're in luck because I am going to teach you. I present to you, the Miles test - one so easy you can do it right where you are!
Okay, okay. First, extend both your arms in front of you and make a window using your thumb and fingers like so,
Next, look through the window with both eyes open at a distant stationary object like a doorknob, the face of a clock or a photograph on your desk. If you like, you can simply lean back and focus on this kitten here in the centre of this picture,
Remember to keep both eyes open when you're positioning the object. This is crucial.
When you're ready, close one of your eyes. Then, switch eyes. Do it several more times and you'll see the kitty blinking in and out of the frame. Here's how to interpret your findings,
- If you see the kitty when your right eye is open, it means your right eye is dominant.
- If you see the kitty when your left eye is open, it means you are an ocular lefty.
In normal binocular vision, there is an effect of parallax due to the fact that both your eyes are situated on either sides of your face, resulting in two viewpoints and causing binocular rivalry. So, in order to maintain an accurate sense of the positions of the things you see, your brain tends to favour the visual input through one eye over the other. This is probably not very important unless you are into archery, firearms or spying at women in the showers through peepholes.
Studies showed that about two-thirds of people are right-eyed, while right-handed folks outnumber southpaws eight-to-one. What it means is just because you are right-handed doesn't mean you're right-eyed. Take me, for example: I'm right-handed but my dominant eye is the left one, but this might have something to do with the fact that I initially started out sinister back when I was a wee toddler, but my mother (who attended a convent school) forced me to switch to holding a pen with my right. I ended having a rather mixed-bag of hand-preferences. I write and use chopsticks with my right but handle scissors, racquets and swords with my left. My knife and fork hands are also reversed. I can still write with my left if I'm forced to (like when I get writer's cramp), but I do so at a slightly more hesitant speed.
One of the reasons suggested for the great disparity between dexters and sinisters in the world are our cultural predilections to denigrate left-handed people for completely wacky, superstitious reasons. I should know; I was a victim. The Catholic Church in particular, in their psychotic quest for holiness and purity, insisted that the left side is intrinsically evil, sinful and diabolical. We have all heard of how schoolteachers and nuns in Catholic schools would rap left-handed children on the knuckles in order to bully them into switching paws. I swear I'll punch out the next nun I catch doing that. WITH MY LEFT FIST OF SATAN. KAPOW!
P.S. Yes, I can turn any subject into a diatribe against religion.
P.P.S. To bring up something tangentially related to this post, I read an article in an old issue of the Scientific American about how when people turn their heads to kiss (to get the nose out of the way, duh), they tend to do so on one side. Here's an article about the original published study in Nature back in 2003. Like eye dominance, there are twice as many right-turners as there are left ones (I'm in the minority again). Now, I wonder if it's awkward for someone who prefers to turn left to snog someone who prefers right. Only one way to find out: TO THE LABORATORY!
A sinister mister,
k0k s3n w4i