Washington: Have you ever wondered why people involuntarily prefer carrying their child in their left arm? According to a recent study, one reason for this preference is that emotions are primarily processed in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is linked to the left side of the body.
International researchers have been investigating since 1960 whether and why people have a preferred side when cradling a baby. As part of the study, researchers found that between 66 and 72 per cent of all people hold an infant with their left arm. For right-handed people, the figure is even higher at 74 per cent, while it is only 61 per cent for left-handed people. The ratio is similar for men and women: 64 per cent of all men and 73 per cent of all women hold a baby with their left arm.
"There may, of course, be links between gender and handedness. Unfortunately, this link has not been considered in any study," explains Julian Packheiser, lead author of the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
There has been much speculation about the reasons for the side preference. Perhaps right-handed people are only holding the baby on the left so that they have their right, more dexterous hand free.
However, since emotions are primarily processed in the right hemisphere of the brain, people may also tend to move their baby into their left visual field, which is linked to the right hemisphere of the brain. This could be especially true for mothers who have already established a strong emotional bond with their child during pregnancy.
During this study, the researchers discovered that men who are uncomfortable hugging other men tend to hug each other from the left because of the strong negative emotions.