HumansHuman Body

What is ambidextrous?


Most people are either "right-handed" or "left-handed." They use their preferred hand for everything from writing to brushing their teeth to throwing a ball and more! The majority of people are right-handed, while only about 10% are left handed.

However, there are a small number of people in between who are neither right-handed or left-handed... they're both! This very special ability is known as being ambidextrous. A person who is ambidextrous can use either hand at any time, as equally as they could use the other hand.

Some people are also "mixed-handed," which means that even though they aren't ambidextrous, they have some things they do with their left, and other things they do with their right. Scientists don't know exactly what makes certain people ambidextrous or mixed-handed. Many scientists believe that which hand we use is controlled by one side of our brain or the other. According to this idea, ambidextrous people use both sides of the brain equally!

(by Mya Kagan)


Switch it up!Do you know anyone who is ambidextrous, or are there any things that you are able to do comfortably with both hands? Try out a few different tasks with the opposite hand than the one you usually chose. Think about lots of different activities like picking up your toys, carrying your backpack, and brushing your hair. How does it feel to switch hands?

Further Information

Occasionally, an ambidextrous person will have taught him or herself how to use both hands. Wow!