[extropy-chat] bark sinister

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Apr 24 18:22:31 UTC 2007


If You Want to Know if Spot Loves You So, It's in His Tail

< Research has shown that in most animals, including birds, fish and 
frogs, the left brain specializes in behaviors involving what the 
scientists call approach and energy enrichment. In humans, that means 
the left brain is associated with positive feelings, like love, a 
sense of attachment, a feeling of safety and calm. It is also 
associated with physiological markers, like a slow heart rate.

At a fundamental level, the right brain specializes in behaviors 
involving withdrawal and energy expenditure. In humans, these 
behaviors, like fleeing, are associated with feelings like fear and 
depression. Physiological signals include a rapid heart rate and the 
shutdown of the digestive system.

Because the left brain controls the right side of the body and the 
right brain controls the left side of the body, such asymmetries are 
usually manifest in opposite sides of the body. Thus many birds seek 
food with their right eye (left brain/nourishment) and watch for 
predators with their left eye (right brain/danger).

In humans, the muscles on the right side of the face tend to reflect 
happiness (left brain) whereas muscles on the left side of the face 
reflect unhappiness (right brain).

...Chimpanzee brains are asymmetrical in the same ways as human 
brains, said William D. Hopkins, a researcher at the Yerkes National 
Primate Center and psychologist at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. 
When chimps are excited, they tend to scratch themselves on the left 
side of their bodies, reflecting strong negative emotions, he said. 
And left-handed chimps are more fearful of novel stimuli than 
right-handers. Their dominant right brains may make them more cautious.

Brain asymmetry for approach and withdrawal seems to be an ancient 
trait, Dr. Rogers said.>


Makes me wonder if the bias against "sinister" left-handers derives 
from their consequent "deceitful"/contrary autonomous facial and 
other signaling, something most people would be only unconsciously 
aware of, and therefore perhaps a bias especially hard to correct.

Damien Broderick 

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