From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Cross-dominance, also known as mixed-handedness, mixed dominance, or increased hand efficiency, is a motor skill manifestation where a person favors one hand for some tasks and the other hand for others. For example, a cross-dominant person might write with the left hand but throw primarily with the right. Ambidexterity is a well-known but rare variant of cross-dominance, but cross-dominant people may also be left or right-handed rather than ambidextrous.

It can also refer to mixed laterality, which refers to a person favoring eyes, ears, feet, or hands on one side of the body. A person who is cross-dominant can also be stronger on the opposite side of the body that they favor; for example, a right-handed person can be stronger on the left side. Cross-dominance can often be a problem when shooting or in activities that require aim, although athletes can still achieve success in sports that require accuracy, like passing in American football and shooting in basketball.


Mixed handedness and mixed dominance has been studied and was found to be correlated with atypical cerebral symmetry and with mental health and learning problems such as ADHD. A study published in February of 2010 concluded that mixed handed individuals were more likely to have language, scholastic, and ADHD symptoms.

Problems with tasks crossing the body's mid-line are common. Crossing the mid-line work is any left side of the body movement that is performed with the right side, or vice versa—including tasks such as reading and writing.

Optometrist and occupational therapist believe that for the brain to work efficiently the brain must establish dominance. A brain with a cross dominance will have difficulty organizing information and will find that learning information visually and auditorily more difficult.

The brain of a mixed dominant person is not organized in an optimum manner so retrieving information is also more difficult. According to specialist in this area, retrieving information when the cross dominant individual is anxious or upset is more difficult still.

In the late 1990s parents were reporting to physicians that left-handed children were more likely to have symptoms of ADHD. Studies looking into these reported phenomena did not support this claim. These same studies, however, did find an association between anomalous lateral brain functioning and the symptoms of ADHD.

In baseball[edit]

Because curveballs and sliders – the most commonly used breaking pitches in the game – curve in the direction of a pitcher's non-throwing hand, a batter who bats opposite the pitcher's throwing hand enjoys an advantage. In turn, since most pitchers are right-handed, this means that left-handed batters enjoy a noticeable advantage over their right-handed counterparts.[1] However, being a right-handed thrower is more advantageous in the field. Every fielding position can be played by a right-handed thrower, although left-handers have a slight advantage at first base owing to the fact that they do not have to turn around to place their foot on first when stretching to catch a throw. Conversely, left-handed throwers are completely absent at the highest level at the other infield positions and at catcher.[2] While switch hitting exists so a batter can put pressure on a pitcher by hitting the opposite hand of the pitcher’s throwing arm, it has gained some criticism because a batter will always be more dominant from one side of the plate than the other; therefore, depending on the throwing hand of a pitcher, the switch hitter may be unreliable. So, many baseball players are trained at being cross-dominant, with batting solely left-handed and throwing solely right-handed to suffice to this advantage.[3] There are also players like Rickey Henderson, who bat right and throw left; but this serves as a substantial disadvantage and is only done because the player is simply just more comfortable playing that way, which demonstrates that cross-dominance in the sport can sometimes be natural instead of being a strategy.[4]

In snooker[edit]

Swapping the cue from one hand to the other inorder to gain easy access to an oblique shot was long thought to be disrespectful, though more recently it has come to be accepted, especially since Ronnie O'Sullivan has dominated the world game and often escaped from snookers by switching to a left-handed action.[5]


External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "article name needed". Cyclopaedia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (first ed.). James and John Knapton, et al.