Am I Really Ambi-Cognitive?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Megan McArdle just made me waste 30 seconds on a test that’s designed to show whether I’m left- or right-brained. The answer, supposedly, is that I use both sides equally, which strikes me as fairly unlikely. I’m also suspicious of the test. One question asks, “Put your hand on your head. Which hand did you use?” Well, I used my left hand, but that’s because my right hand was on the mouse. So does that count?

But forget the kvetching. Here’s one question that perplexed me: “Look at an object and close one eye. Which eye is still open?” I did that, and my right eye was open. But just as I clicked that answer, I realized something was wrong. I’m left eyed. When I look through a camera viewfinder, for example, I always use my left eye. Using my right eye would feel as awkward as using my left hand to write.

But, in fact, if I just close an eye to look at something in the distance, I do indeed close my left eye and use my right eye. I just tried this a few times, and it turns out there are two reasons for this. First, I have better control over my left eye muscles, so closing my left eye is a little easier than closing my right eye. Second, my right eye seems more comfortable to use, even though I’m wearing glasses that correct both eyes to 20/20.

And yet, I still use my left eye for a camera viewfinder (or a microscope or a telescope or anything similar), and I always have. That’s kind of weird. I wonder what accounts for it?

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate