Switching Between Hands
There are many people who prefer to use one side of the body for certain activities, and the other side of the body for other tasks. Also known as cross-dominance, mixed dominance, or mixed handedness, it is often confused with ambidexterity, in which a person can use either side of the body equally well, with no preference for one side over the other, for activities like writing or throwing a ball.
Advantages and Handicaps
About 20% of the population experiences cross-dominance to some extent, and for some, this ability to switch off from one hand to the other gives them an advantage in sports and music. According to Stanley Coren, author of the Left-Hander Syndrome, performance is often enhanced in those who are mixed handed when they play strongly handed sports like basketball, since they are more able to respond from either side to an on-court play.
Cross dominance is not confined to favoring sides with the hands or feet, but can also extend to ears and eyes as well. Research has explored the phenomenon of cross-dominance, with some evidence to suggest that some individuals with ear-hand cross dominance can have difficulty with complex processing and long term memory consolidation. Cross-dominance can also create problems such as clumsiness and difficulty with field perception in some people. However, such cross dominance between parts of the body can also offer physical advantages. People with crossed eye-hand dominance have also demonstrated greater skill in gymnastics and running, due to the crossed visual sided influx of information.