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BS: Left/Right confusion

Sarah the flute 11 Jul 01 - 03:37 AM
Llanfair 11 Jul 01 - 03:48 AM
Patrish(inactive) 11 Jul 01 - 04:03 AM
Noreen 11 Jul 01 - 04:45 AM
Murray MacLeod 11 Jul 01 - 06:58 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 01 - 07:06 AM
Aidan Crossey 11 Jul 01 - 07:10 AM
Little Neophyte 11 Jul 01 - 07:19 AM
Wolfgang 11 Jul 01 - 07:27 AM
Little Neophyte 11 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM
Aidan Crossey 11 Jul 01 - 07:53 AM
GeorgeH 11 Jul 01 - 08:05 AM
Noreen 11 Jul 01 - 08:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 01 - 08:20 AM
Wolfgang 11 Jul 01 - 08:36 AM
UB Ed 11 Jul 01 - 09:04 AM
Helen 11 Jul 01 - 09:10 AM
SDShad 11 Jul 01 - 09:23 AM
Bagpuss 11 Jul 01 - 10:51 AM
Wolfgang 11 Jul 01 - 11:06 AM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Jul 01 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,JohnB 11 Jul 01 - 12:31 PM
Little Hawk 11 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM
MMario 11 Jul 01 - 12:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 11 Jul 01 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,kendall 11 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM
Kim C 11 Jul 01 - 01:18 PM
Grab 11 Jul 01 - 02:09 PM
MAG 11 Jul 01 - 04:32 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM
Art Thieme 11 Jul 01 - 05:22 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 11 Jul 01 - 06:09 PM
Helen 11 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM
Helen 11 Jul 01 - 08:01 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 01 - 08:13 PM
Helen 11 Jul 01 - 08:27 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Jul 01 - 08:35 PM
Sarah the flute 12 Jul 01 - 04:44 AM
Wolfgang 12 Jul 01 - 08:04 AM
Bert 12 Jul 01 - 03:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Jul 01 - 04:19 PM
Noreen 12 Jul 01 - 06:03 PM
kendall 12 Jul 01 - 06:21 PM
Mudlark 12 Jul 01 - 07:04 PM
Jeri 12 Jul 01 - 07:06 PM
kendall 12 Jul 01 - 07:46 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Jul 01 - 08:09 PM
MarkS 12 Jul 01 - 09:16 PM
Helen 13 Jul 01 - 01:34 AM
CarolC 13 Jul 01 - 02:59 AM
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Subject: Left/Right confusion
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:37 AM

Reading the thread on dyslexia made me wonder if anyone else out there in Mudcat land has the problem of mixing up left and right. I don't mean occasionally, I mean all the time. Serious confusion. I even went the wrong way in my driving test. When driving people have to say this way and that way to me or I go wrong. The really difficult bit is I'm a caller for ceilidhs and I havn't a clue which way people are going to go if I say circle right!!! If I get it wrong I have to pretend I've made a mistake. Is this a form of dyslexia ? Is it a problem because I am fairly ambidextrous ? Why don't I have any problem of switching driving to the other side of the road when I go abroad. Any sympathisers ? Any explanations?


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Llanfair
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:48 AM

I think there was a thread about this a year or so ago. It is more common than you would think. I am left-handed, but can do most things with either hand. (space here for those with overactive minds to snicker!), however, I have to think to get left and right...er..right!
I would think that the sure way to get the calling right, would be to learn it as you would a song.
My eldest son, who is right handed, has the same problem. It's just not automatic!!
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:03 AM

Sarah, I am exactly the same as you. On my driving test i had to tell the examiner to use this way or that way for right and left. (I passed)
I find it very confusing and have to think hard when I am giving directions - right and left are not instinctive for me.
I wonder if its something to do with the right or left side of the brain?
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:45 AM

I'm sure it could be something to do with you being 'fairly ambidextrous', Sarah, in that you make less distinction between the two sides of your body. I seem to be very right handed and find it fairly straightforward to remember rights and lefts- I think it's because right is something like the default value for everything, and left is therefore "other" i.e. the two are easily distinguished and remembered. Don't know if that makes sense to you, but I know what I mean!

I became aware very recently how 'right-dominant' I am. I have a double cupboard in the kitchen with sliding doors. The right half of the cupboard is full, whereas I rarely use the left half. Hmm- I wonder if this gets more pronounced as we get older?

Interesting subject.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 06:58 AM

I am right handed, and have no problem distinguishing right from left, but I do have a dominant left eye. For example, I would fire a rifle from my left shoulder. Also as a kid I used to mount my bike left-handed. I was aleways grateful that I write right-handed and play guitar right-handed.

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:06 AM

I'm a left hander who can do most things with his right hand (and play right handed) but I have no problems with left and right.

My dad has always had terrible problems with this - never forget the time we were in traffic, my mum asked which way, he said "left", we went left, got lost and during the ensuing row, he said "well you should have known I meant right when I said left"...

One difference between my father and I is that he was forced to do certain things right handed as a child - I wonder if that is the reason for his struggling.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:10 AM

I cannot instinctively tell left from right. I can work it out, either by little physical checks such as "Left hand for frets and right for picking", or by feeling with my thumb the writer's bump on my right middle finger. (My mum blesses herself with her right hand and I catch her doing that to confirm whether she's going right or left.)

Normally it doesn't matter too much ... it only takes a second or two to work it out. I'm taking driving lessons and I've been able to intellectualise the left/right thing another way. We drive on the left and so when the instructor says turn left, I think "Easy." When he says turn right I clench my buttocks and prepare for a difficult manoeuvre.

Where it really matters is when I'm co-piloting for my wife and we approach a junction and I say "Left here". She turns left. "Shit, I mean right!" Has been the cause of a fair number of rows.

Funny that I don't have east-west confusion to the same extent!


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:19 AM

Yes Sarah I've got that same wonderful quality. I've figured out a way to live with it. When someone says turn left, I turn right. I've trained my mind to think left means right and right means left. I've also learned not to go down rapids in a canoe with a person with this very same problem. I don't think I'd be hear to speak about it if I did.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:27 AM

Funny that I don't have east-west confusion to the same extent derrymacash writes.

No, it's not. Think of looking in the mirror. The mirror changes left to right and vice versa but doesn't change up and down. Why not? What's 'up' doesn't depend on your position (on earth, in space that's a different question) what's left does. So up and down (and east and west for that matter) don't change with my personal frame of reference, but left and right do (when I move about).

This changing frame of reference is what makes it difficult with left/right for a not too small subgroup of the population (the majority of them are female).

You'll see this individual difference also in map using. Those who have, on the average, more difficulties with left/right turn the map (when e.g. going south) the others hate turned maps. Map turners too are more often found among females.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:38 AM

Wolfgang I duct tape my maps to a Lazy Suzanne


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:53 AM

I'm not sure that I agree with you on the changing frame of reference thing, Wolfgang. When I move about, my left side continues to be my left side.

And something's to the east of me. I walk around it in a 180 degree arc. It's now to my west. My frame of reference has changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: GeorgeH
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:05 AM

Let's just say there's a saying in our houshold "Do you meann Left as in Right?"

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:12 AM

No, THAT left, George!

Map turners of the world, unite!


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:20 AM

I thought this was going to be another political barny.

What I find really confusing is if I look in a TV screen and see myself, because I'm used to instinctively reversing things in mirrors. Not so much the face, but the hands.

But I can play the guitar behind my back with no problems. Well, not with the fingering anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:36 AM

derrymacash,

yes, you carry left/right with you when you turn or walk about, but east and west not. They remain stable. If something is in the westof you and you turn round it is still in the west of you, but whether 'west' is left or right from you has changed.

When you describe some landmark in relation to your town or house and use the words 'east' or 'west' you do not have to add 'if you come from ...' to make it unequivocal. If you for instance say 'The bus station is to the left of the train station you always have to add 'when you face the train station' or 'when you come out of the train station'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: UB Ed
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:04 AM

My spouse and I have great fun with this.

If we're traveling somewhere, come to an intersection and aren't sure which way to go, She will render an opinion on left or right. I will consistently turn in the opposite direction she suggested. More often than not, this method gets us to where we're supposed to be. It has a higher success rate when she speaks with conviction.

She has a great sense of humor about this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Helen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:10 AM

I have a problem with left and right reversals, and also with vertical reversals when reading and numbers. I don't agree, Wolfgang, that up and down is universally easy to distinguish, especially when you are looking at a page on a horizontal surface. I have always said aloud "2" when looking at "5" and when you look at 2 upside down it looks like a 5.

I am dyslexic. It is a function of the way my brain processes visual information when it is *correlated with* the associated words. For me it comes down to "labels" - which are the mutually agreed upon meanings assigned arbitrarily to a collection of letters. The label "left" and the label "right" don't intrinsically mean anything. It is just that our society agrees on their meaning. And the connection in my brain between the visual and the verbal is not as automatic as some other people's connections. Often, I have to make logical deductions in my head to find the right words for things, and often these deductions begin with a visual image which is a marker or code for that word, which shows me the mental path to follow to find the word.

Now I look at my watch and know that it is on my left wrist and then I know what side of the street to drive on or which way to turn. So, in my reality, "left" = "watch" = "the correct side of the road to drive on in Australia", but they are visual cues to arrive at the correct interpretations.

Dyslexia is considered a "disability" in a world which focuses on words more than visual or conceptual ideas.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: SDShad
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:23 AM

Another sinistral here. I've never had trouble distinguishing left from right per se, but have had trouble remembering which direction you do certain things. For instance, I was well into my 20s before I could keep straight which way to turn a screw or bolt to tighten it, and which way to loosen. I've got that one down now, but other things like that can still elude me.

So my experience as a lefty has made me wonder: is left-handedness sort of a form of directional dyslexia, or is it often accompanied by or coupled with some sort of mild dyslexia. I've no trouble with spelling, reading, etc., but I know that's not all that dyslexia's about. I also have trouble with other "connecting" things: color memory, distinguishing colors (though I am partially right-green color blind, as well), relating notes on a page to notes I sing or positions on an instrument, things like that.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Bagpuss
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 10:51 AM

I have to think about which is left and right. When directing someone in a car, I always say "to me" or "to you" to indicate which way they should go!

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 11:06 AM

Another opportunity for parodies is a relevant old thread despite its title.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:11 PM

My Beautiful Wife, a professional pianist, is "almost" ambidextrous, although officially right-handed.

She has the right/left problem a good deal of the time. I often refer to "My backwards wife" (as distinguished from "My BACKWARD wife", which I'd better not say!)

Though we've lived in our present house about 31 years, she is still confused on directions from our abode: East is "north" to her, unless she stops to figure things out, which she usually doesn't do.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:31 PM

We navigate by "My Way" and "Your Way". We have done this for years, it doesn't matter who is driving, whether you are in England on the left or North America on the right, it always works. It does however not stop you from getting hoplessly lost and only works whilst we are still actually talking to one another. JohnB


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:47 PM

Right and left are so totally obvious to me, that it really mystifies me when someone gets confused between them. The concept of right and left comes from within a person...while concepts such as east and west come from outside a person, so it's a whole different kind of thing.

I can sometimes be in doubt about compass directions, if I'm driving around downtown on unfamiliar streets, but get confused about right and left?...never. To me, they are as obvious as up and down...although not as different in their effect, of course.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: MMario
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:57 PM

I spent a great deal of time last weekend - and probably will again this weekend - telling people "The open gate is on your OTHER left" or "Please go to your Other right" -- and this despite the fact most were standing in a line and they could have just followed the person in front of them, AND they were told which direction to go in, yet they STILL headed off the oppisete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:06 PM

Hold your hands out, palms away from you... thumbs out from your hands, as if you were just about to leave hand-prints on something...

The index finger and thumb on your left hand make an "L"...

There ya go... easy peasy puddin' and pie!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:07 PM

I have never had a problem like this, but, I used to live in a patrol boat with another Warden, and he would insist on turning the chart upside down when we were headed south. Always wondered why he didn't turn it sideways for east or west. That wasn't his only annoying quirk!


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:18 PM

I always have to stop and think about it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Grab
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 02:09 PM

Driving in the States, I found a good one. I adapted to driving on the right without a problem, and I haven't once driven on the wrong side accidentally (been down a few one-way streets the wrong way and suchlike, but that's plain getting lost on my part and lack of signposting on the city's part :-). But for the first week or so, I'd look at the map, say "OK, I want to turn left at the next junction", and then promptly turn right! I'd got so used to "left" meaning "easy turn" and "right" meaning "turn across the traffic" that the style of turn was taking precedence over a more simple left/right decision.

Everyone gets the "other left" thing sometimes anyway. As Helen says, it's a learnt thing, and anyone who sings knows all about forgetting stuff that you've known all your life when you're on the spot.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: MAG
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:32 PM

Jon and Wolfgang, I found your comments very interesting. I too am from the generation (a generation, anyway) made to do things with our right hands. I have clear memories of being made to put down an eating utensil I had picked up with my left, and pick it up with my right. My maternal grandmother was a leftie, and I am one who has to stop and consciously think about left/right. I also have to turn a map so it is oriented like the real world. My old eye doctor told me I was "cross-dominant" -- ie, right handed, but a dominant left eye. (I also remember the phrase getting a lot of chuckles on the old thread.)

I'm not sure if I'm mildly dyslexic or if nature intended me for a leftie. I have leftie nieces, tho' my sister is also a rightie, and her husband's family had no lefties. Way back in high school science they taught us that the leftie gene is dominant. I also read that the percentage of lefties in the world is going up now that the tendency is no longer suppressed.

Thanks for the insights. -- Mary Ann


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM

For quite some years, when I was a kid, when deciding which was right and which was left, I had to visualize sitting cross-legged in the kindergarten room, looking at the teacher who taught us right/left and the clock above her. THEN I could visualize the side that was right on the clock, and the other side had to be left!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 05:22 PM

On the Mississippi River I had to learn that port is left. Easy to do because port and left both have four letters. That means starboard is right---by default. Makes it easy to remember.

On another tack, I was stopped by a dyslexic state trooper today. He was checking for I.U.D.s.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 06:09 PM

I work as a delivery driver, and have probably driven over 500,000 miles, but am not be able to drive on the right without getting mixed up, although I am ok on motorbikes, I dont really understand this.I am right handed with a dominant left eye.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Helen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM

DaveO,

I know, consciously, which side of my watch is left and right (wrist & hand) but when I do look at my analog watch face I still have to make that conscious connection.

Don't ask me why, but I have a lovely watch, one of these modern Swatches, which doesn't have numbers, so I tell the time by the position of the hands. Mostly it's not a problem if *I* want to know the time, but it's panic stations if someone unexpectedly asks me the time because I stand there looking at my watch like a fool, and the conversation in my head goes: Is it 20 to 10 or 2:20? Well I haven't had lunch yet, so it must be morning.

Little Hawk,

You said that the "concept of right and left comes from within a person" but for me the difference has never really been clear. I think that the theory that dyslexics have a balance between right & left brain makes a lot of sense to me because if I were more right than left oriented, or vice versa, I would have more of a sense of the difference. Because they are balanced almost equally (according to tests I have done) it is not so easy to tell the difference.

When I am "looking" for the correct word for something I go through a thought process which goes something like this:

Imagine I am in a room which is packed with visual and conceptual stuff - pictures, 3-D models, thought concepts & ideas, but no words. Someone starts conversing with me about these visual & conceptual ideas. I reply, but I can't find the right word for something, so I go into the other room which is packed with filing cabinets, floor to ceiling. The categorisation in the filing cabinets is visual/conceptual cues, so the labels on the cabinets, and on each file folder, and each file is visual/conceptual, but filed under those labels are the associated words.

I find the file I need, look up the word, and continue with the conversation.

In conversations the common words, i.e. the ones I use most often, are easy to remember, but the ones I am dredging from memory or relating to subjects I haven't discussed in a while are slower to retrieve.

I also have problems with some words because of the order of letters. "Suspicious" and "superstition" always catch me out. There are lots of others. It's to do with the reversal of letter order - you know the jokes, "God" & "dog", etc.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Helen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:01 PM

One other thing: I use my hands a lot to form pictures of what I am trying to say. The movement and the visual cues help me to retrieve the word.

I woke up this morning thinking about how a university lecturer humiliated me in front of the whole class by sneering at me and putting me down for using my hands when I talk. It wasn't until afterwards that I realised I should have put in a formal complaint about her.

The first thread, which I started in 1999, about dyslexia is
here

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16304&messages=61

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:13 PM

Thread creep but thinking of the comments on driving, does anyone else have this sort of problem?

When driving with my mum, say through Norwich which I am new to and in need of directions, she tries to direct me by pointing. Most of the time, because of the angle I am looking at her hand, I can not tell whether she is pointing stright on or right, signalling middle lane, inside lane or what.

I've had a few rows with her on this and have tried to ask, "please give instructions like turn left at the next junction, get in the right hand lane here, etc. rather than keep me guessing which way you are pointing.." Am I being unreasonable?

Jon Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Helen
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:27 PM

Jon,

If your mother has a problem with saying left or right, another way around it is to ask her to point within your line of sight - without obstructing your view, of course.

That's what I do when I am giving directions. I hold my hand up towards the windscreen and about in line with the gear stick (mid-line of car). I also use my whole hand and not just one finger, like a police-person directing traffic.

(If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!! *grin*)

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:35 PM

Thanks Helen,

I don't beleive my mother has the same knowing left from right problems that my father has - it seems more a matter that her instinctive way is to point.

Having said that, even if I am right, a compromise is a good idea and I think that I should be OK if she follows your suggestion.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:44 AM

Wow!!! It's nice to know you are not alone There's some interesting stuff here... I tend to visualise in my head the dances, and pretend I'm dancing them before I give directions and I do the same if anyone asks me directions on how to get somewhere - that seems to make it easier. I tried the hands making the L trick but that doesn't seem to work any more than putting a large L and R on my hands - the anxiety kicks in and I still get it wrong because I forget to look! Chris's (SDShad) comments about doing other things were interesting because I can't peel potatoes, fruit, fix screws properly and the other curiosity is that I can't draw straight lines with a ruler - I have to draw them freehand first and then go over that with a ruler - maybe I am just crazy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 08:04 AM

Helen is right in stating that mixing up left and right is related to lateralisation. People who are strongly lateralised (that is that there is a big difference in activity in both brain hemispheres when they are talking or thinking) do usually not have left-right problems. That's why I linked in my last post to the other thread about differential use of brain halfes in men and women.

And you just have to cope with that. Any idea of saying 'isn't it just obvious' or 'concentrate more' are about as helpful as telling a colour blind person 'just look, it is obviously different'.

Same basic difference but another observation: Picture different friends or aquaintances giving directions when asked. You have the pointers and the talkers. The pointers (that's my language, not scientific) cannot keep there hands still when talking about directions, the talkers can tell you the direction only by using words (though they too make almost always small hand movements).

If you have difficulties with left/right you're most probably a pointer. In the worst case, if you would be forced to keep your hands behind your back, you'd be seriously hindered in talking about directions. Talkers, however, could give directions even with the whole body immobilised. That's also mostly a question of interplay between the different modalities (and brain parts), more or less pronounced in different humans.

And all that is related (my speculation) even to the style of argumentation (wholist vs. partist). So I'd expect e.g. Alex (MT) to have no difficulties with left and right.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Bert
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 03:09 PM

Training helps. When I first started square dancing I had to think really hard about which was my left hand. after a few years of dancing it became second nature.

Also, at the same time I was building pressure vessels and when you're reading the drawing you need it the right way up so that you can read the dimensions, but the vessel may be upside down and back to front. So I got really good at visualising in 3D in any orientation. So now I don't usually have to align a map.

Of course wives have their own techniques of frustrating any degree of training. Coming up to a junction Tree will say "Turn left" and when we get to the junction she'll say "Right here!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:19 PM

Speaking of minimal unconscious hand movements when giving directions, it's obvious (to me) that this is related to what everybody (in my experience) does when spoon-feeding a baby.

WHAAA?????

That's right, you open your mouth, don't you?

Before someone says, "That's to get the baby to imitate you," I will say I believe we rationalize it that way, but it's more than that. I see adults (maybe newlyweds or sweethearts, but not necessarily) in a restaurant feeding each other say a sample of a particularly good dessert, and --guess what?-- there's almost always a little mouth motion --maybe only a parting of the lips, but sometimes an overt mouth-opening-- that goes with it. The "feeder" is WILLING that receiving mouth to open, and that thought, through the feeder's own internal hard-wiring, has its unknowing effect, and the feeder's mouth moves.

So, too, a direction-giver, visualizing say a right turn, then a left turn, tends to express the right-then-left thought through the body (maybe with minimal, unthought hand gestures, maybe with an tiny inclination of the head, maybe a slight lean right or left) which is obedient to thoughts at a more ready, basic level than speech.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 06:03 PM

Wolfgang, ... all that is related (my speculation) even to the style of argumentation (wholist vs. partist)... That sounds interesting- care to elaborate? Does it require a new thread?

Noreen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 06:21 PM

My ex used to drive me nuts saying, "You should have turned left/right back there."

During WW2, an American soldier was on a train in England. The only seat without a human passenger was occupied by a little dog. The soldier asked the lady to please put the dog in her lap and allow him to sit down. She lit into him saying, "Cant you see that seat is taken? Really! you Yanks are so pushy!" The soldier went through the cars, and found that there were no seats, so, he returned to the lady and the dog. He said "Madam, there are no seats, may I please have this one?" She had a fit, "Sir, I told you that seat is occupied, dont you understand English?" With that, the soldier picked the dog up and threw it out the window, then sat down. She screamed at a gentleman across the way, "Did you see what this bloody Yank did? They are so rude and uncivilized." The Englishman said, "Yes, I know, they eat with the wrong hand, they drive on the wrong side of the road, and this one just threw the wrong bitch off the train!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Mudlark
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 07:04 PM

I am left-handed, have to physically make a writing motion to tell my L hand from my R, can't tell W from E unless I'm looking at the Pacific Ocean, can't read a map forward let alone backward, couldn't follow called dance steps, let alone do the calling, am transpositionally dyslexic (both letters and numbers), and even using the old saw "Lefty, loosy--righty, tighty" I STILL only get it right about half the time. Yet somehow I am able to live a near-normal life. I DO burn up a lot of frying pans, because the knobs on every stove I've ever had seem to me to be intuitively wrong, hot to cold.

Altho I'm not ambidextrious it never occurred to me to try and play the guitar left-handed. It seems to me I need the dexterity of my dominant L hand to chord...and after 35 years I STILL cant do a clear Bm.

I am relieved to know I'm not alone in (at least) this type of weirdness....

Ycnan


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Jeri
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 07:06 PM

Well, I felt right at home in England because I eat left handed. I never did master that trick of balancing one's peas on the back of one's fork, though. (I did manage to get some mashed potatoes to stay there, then glued the peas to the potatoes, but it's not quite the same.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 07:46 PM

Years ago I saw a movie with Alan Ladd in which a spy was caught in enemy territory because he was seen switching his fork from left to right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 08:09 PM

more thread creep: Jeri, I can assure you I do not attempt this feat with the fork which, IMO, should be used as a form of shovel for the task of eating peas (and mashed potatoe come to that...)

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: MarkS
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 09:16 PM

Wow, What a thread. I write and pick with my right hand, but my natural swing, (baseball bat, golf club, axe, broom) is with my left. My left eye is the better, so that explains why it took so much time for me to learn to pistol shoot, while holding the pistol in my right hand and sighting with my right eye!
There is just no end to what you can learn on Mudcat.
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: Helen
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 01:34 AM

DaveO,

There was an article in a fairly recent New Scientist magazine linking empathy with the development of language. Putting it a little derogatively, it was about "monkey see, monkey do". The general idea of the study was that when someone sees someone else doing an action, which the observier has also done before, then the observer's brain activity lights up in almost the same way as if the observer is actually doing the action him/herself.

The hypothesis is that having this "sympathetic" [my word] brain activity somehow provided a stimulus or a basis for using codes i.e. sounds which became words, to indicate that action.

So, your observation of a parent opening his/her mouth is the next step further - mimicking or imitating the action (in this case, a desired action).

Regarding learning compensatory tricks for left-right recognition: there is a really good (I mean *really good*) set of games designed by brain researchers to increase brain activity, i.e. "exercise" the brain. It's called
Thinkfast

http://www.brain.com/improve/about_tf.cfm?CFID=360233&CFTOKEN=53062221 I found that my left & right confusion seemed to get less confusing after practising on these games. They are quite simple, and you can work your way up the scale, continually improving on your personal best.

(Usual disclaimers, no connection with company, blah blah)

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: Left/Right confusion
From: CarolC
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 02:59 AM

Bonnie,

When canoeing, don't think in terms of 'left' or 'right'. Think, 'draw' and 'pry'. That's a lot easier to remember and it only takes into consideration whether or not you are drawing the water toward you with the paddle, or prying the water away from you with the paddle.

And those are the accepted terms for those actions anyway, so most experienced paddlers will know what you're talking about. And if they're not experienced, you'll probably want to be teaching them some things before you get into a boat with them anyway.

(Sorry for jumping in so late with that.)


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Mudcat time: 21 September 5:17 AM EDT

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