April 10, 2007

Hidden Handedness

This book was inspired by a letter the author received from Dr. Oliver Sacks in 1999 advising that the story contained in these pages needed to be told in a book length account. "Hidden Handedness" treats an untouched subject; the story of what really happens when a child's natural handedness is reversed, and the incredible consequences of making the return journey as an adult. The premise of the book is that millions of humans are neurologically "detoured" by handedness reversals - that they become something that they would not otherwise be - submergees. The author tells what it was like to return from the submergee state by becoming left-handed again, to become an emergee. In addition to experiencing a wonderful "awakening" of body and mind, the search for others with similar histories and resources turned into the quest, one that led to the challenge from Sacks and other professionals who heard the story, and asked that this book be written.


  1. This book really sounds interesting; I honestly have never really thought about this subject. I will definitely have to check this book out and tell my friends about it!

  2. I'm 3 chapters into this book and it is very helpful to me. Some of the language is effusive and too flowery for my personal taste, but the core message is there. That is, laterility and the altering of neural pathways is not something that should be fiddled with via switching.
    I recommend this book to anyone who has been switched from L to R. I'm excited about finishing this book, who knows where it might lead.

  3. I am originally right-handed, but became ambidextrous at the age of six when my right arm was broken and I had to have a cast on for six MONTHS.
    During that time, I started writing with my left hand, and now I can write two different sentences with both hands at the same time.
    It's exciting!!!

  4. Anna, that is extremely impressive!

  5. Antoinette MacPhearsonMay 14, 2009 at 7:45 AM

    I recently discovered something interesting: I write with my right hand but do most everything else using the right hemisphere of my brain. I cross my legs with my right leg resting on my left, ect. It dawned on me just in the last several minutes that I was the one who forced myself to write with my right hand.
    My older sister was a leftie but was forced to use her right hand in kindergarten. My mom says that by the time I was in school and learning to write I was already using my right hand, but my sister and I both have a horrible time telling left from right and I am extremely awkward in verbal/writing skills(which are left hemisphere dominant) and very creative in art, music and acting(which are right hemisphere dominant). By the time I was 3 I was making art. No one seemingly taught me, I just picked it up. I am guessing I learned it from watching television.
    When I learn things I can't learn verbally I have to see it done and when I do see it done I mimic it exactly. I think I must have seen someone on TV drawing with their right hand and I mimicked it precisely. I believe that I was intended to write with my left hand, but because I am the one who made myself use my right hand I never experienced the stress that most lefties who were forced to write with their right hand experienced. Does anyone think it would benefit me to buy this book and learn to write with my left hand?

  6. Hidden Schmidden Handedness...

    Right-Handedness Evolution,
    Culture-Genetics Relationship.

    Nov 12 2009, from

    A. From "Aping the Stone Age"
    Chimp chasers join artifact extractors to probe the roots of stone tools

    Converging lines of evidence indicate that wild chimps indeed invent distinctive types of tools within communities, and these tools get passed from one generation to the next as a kind of cultural legacy

    For roughly 50,000 generations, Oldowan toolmaking techniques got passed from hominid experts to novices. In recent experiments, it was found that captive chimps display a similar capacity for learning how to use tools by observing more experienced comrades.

    One of the projects combines chimp, hominid and modern human data to explore the enduring mystery of why most people are right-handed. Judging by stone tools, by at least 120,000 years ago right-handedness frequently occurred among Neandertals, and archaeological record from ancient Homo sapiens that lived during the same time as Neandertals shows similar signs of a right-handed skew. Most Oldowan toolmakers from nearly 2 million years ago were probably right-handed. However, whereas wild chimp communities display a variety of hand preferences, a trend of relatively stronger right- and left-handedness does appear in chimp groups that regularly use tools, such as nut-cracking stones or sticks for poking into termite mounds to remove the edible insects.

    Researchers suspect that "specific genes contribute to human hand preferences". Uomini hypothesizes that people and chimps share a genetic propensity to use one hand more than another on tasks that demand dexterity. Genes for right-handedness, though, have evolved in humans alone, she proposes.

    B. Adnauseam, it is culture that drives genetic changes, NOT genetics that drives cultural changes

    "Specific genes contribute to human hand preferences"? Read this above abstract again and again. Note: First comes culture. Genetics follows culture. Genes propagate in an expression conformation that maintains their evolved energy constrainment level. If/when their higher stratum take-off organism attains an enhanced level of energy constrainment the genes modify their expression accordingly. This is the drive and direction of life's evolution. This is how the horses are harnessed, to the front of the wagon, not to the rear.

    C. And also adnauseam, right-handedness is NOT an enduring mystery

    Just as life's chirality was the best energy-constraining product of the early organisms, direct sun energy fueled independent RNA genes, and therefore it was selected to survive, so a preferred-tools-handedness proved energetically advantageous, and since it happened to start with right-handedness it has been since then inducing genetic expression adjustment. And since humans, and even primates, are just fresh young novel organisms on Earth, the process is still going on, not yet completed. Just wait and see. When you return to Earth one-two million years from now you'll hardly find any left-handed people.

    Dov Henis
    (Comments From The 22nd Century)

    Updated Life's Manifest May 2009
    Implications Of E=Total[m(1 + D)]

  7. I quite remember I was deterred from going to class one just because I was left-handed. After several beatings, I had to switch to the right, long before my mum became aware of this fact.Thanks sir, for sharing in my plight but I think I am dying from this silly mistake. I get stupidly tensed in any situation I find my self. In class, church, even with my friends and mates. SOMEBODY THERE, I AM DYING....help ME. I wish God will just redeem me from this embarrassing situation. Why should I find it difficult thinking? I wish someone would understand me here.....thanks,

    1. I understand you. I felt the same. I helped myself back, learning to use my left hand again.


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