Was Albert Einstein right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous?

While we cannot give a definitive "yes" to answer whether Albert Einstein was ambidextrous, there is some evidence that suggests that he in fact was ambidextrous. There are some rumors that state that Albert Einstein was left-handed, but those have been easily debunked with photographic evidence of Albert Einstein writing with his right hand. It is likely that he favored his right hand, since there is plenty of evidence to point in that direction, but what was he really?

Was he righty, lefty, or ambi?

Let’s clear the air. There is plenty of evidence showing that Einstein would write with his right hand. But does that mean that he did all activities right-handed? Could there have been other tasks he would use his left hand for? Well, duh, everyone does that. You wouldn’t expect a left-handed person driving an American manual transmission car to shift gears with their left hand, would you? (Or vice versa for a British or other right hand driven car). Some tasks have to be done with a certain hand based on the nature of the task being performed.

Hold up, though. After his death, it was revealed through an autopsy that Albert Einstein’s brain was more symmetrical than a right-handed person’s brain. What this means is that there was a strong possibility that he was ambidextrous. You see, a right-handed person’s brain tends to be dominant on the left hemisphere, so it grows slightly asymmetrical. This is not to say that other areas of the brain suffer in any way, it’s just the way it works.

Dividing up tasks

The brain on the majority of right-handed people is strict on dividing up tasks to specific areas of the brain. The left hemisphere handles speech and language processing, while the right hemisphere is responsible for things like emotions or processing images. While this is the case for most righty brains, lefty brains are not so strict with it.

In a left-handed or ambidextrous person’s brain, sometimes it’s one side of the brain handling one thing and, before you know it, the other side is having a go at it. This tends to have its own issues because information has to cross over to the other side of the brain via the corpus callosum, a narrower part of the brain connecting the two sides. Imagine your brilliant ideas getting stuck in a traffic jam. Okay, so it’s not as extreme as that, but you get the point.

The results

There have been studies that have concluded that creative people like musicians and artists have a tendency to be left-handed or ambidextrous. That’s not to say they are all lefties, but a greater percentage of them are. The lefty/ambi brain, because of the way it carries out tasks in both sides of the brain, tends to come up with “out of the box thinking” solutions to problems, whereas the righty brain is more systematic and methodical. A brain that is strict on dividing up specific tasks to specific hemispheres is one that quickly dismisses those “crazy” ideas, but a brain that is not so strict on it will entertain those ideas and really see if they will work. So because of all of this, Albert Einstein was probably ambidextrous, but he may have chosen to use his right hand for many tasks because of social norms.

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