·         Arousal

·         The Brain

·         Exercise

·         Indoor Air Pollution

·         Muscle Tension

·         Nutrition

·         Posture

·         Sensory Processing

·         Sleep

·         Other Suggestions


Research Topics


My Theories

Former Theories



The Cause of Internet and TV Addiction?





·        The title of this page was originally titled cross dominance. In addition to cross dominance, it also contains information about mixed laterality

·        Cross dominance is also referred to as mixed dominance and cross laterality.

·        The words dominance and laterality are used on this page interchangeably.


·        About this Page

·        Lateralisation

·        Problems with Lateralisation

·        Cross Laterality

·        Mixed Laterality or Lateral Confusion

·        Confusion

·        An Aversion to Exercise

·        Determining Laterality

·        Correcting Laterality

·        Preserving Hand Dominance

·        Correcting Hemispheric Dominance

·        Lateralized Goggles

·        Unilateral Nostril Breathing

·        Correcting Eye Dominance

·        Discomfort caused by Covering One Eye

·        Correcting Foot Dominance

·        Correcting Ear Dominance

·        Warning, Other Suggestions

·        Services

·        Alternative Methods

·        Going Subdominant

·        Problems with Dominance

·         Developmental Causes

·         Passive Activities

·         Fatigue

·          Muscle Tension

·           Telephones

·           Vaccinations

·           Hearing Loss

·           Distortions, Hypo/Hyper-Auditory Hearing

·           Ear Congestion

·      Laterality and Brainwaves


About this Page

There are several topics on this page which are not merely applicable to laterality, but are applicable to other conditions as well. An example is the section entitled Hyperacusis, Recruitment, and Hyperacute Hearing. Although this section was included on this page, people without laterality issues may have a condition like hyperacusis.

     Even if you don't have laterality issues, or if you don't believe that mixed or cross laterality is causing problems, there may be useful information on the this page.



What is Lateralisation?

"Lateralisation refers to development of lateral dominance (right or left eye, ear, hand, leg) and development of specialised centres and functions in the left and right brain hemispheres. The right side of the body sends messages to and is controlled by the left side of the brain, and the left side of the body by the right side of the brain. Differentiation is a precursor to the development of lateralisation. The ability to cross one’s midline is also a necessary component for mature lateralisation."

ILT: Causes


Unilateral Cerebral Dominance

"Most people develop unilateral cerebral dominance - that is their dominant eye, ear, hand and leg are on the same side of the body."

ILT: Causes


Mixed or Cross Dominance/Laterality

"Approximately 20% of the population has mixed dominance or other irregularities in the development of dominance. Those irregularities of dominance that are the most difficult to resolve without therapeutic help involve alternating reliance on one side or the other without conscious decision to do so [mixed dominance/laterality]. Such children will use first one hand when writing and then the other, for example. This causes instability in perception and performance. Immaturities and irregularities in lateralisation can cause perceptual, organisational and performance problems in all areas of life."

ILT: Causes


Problems with Lateralisation

"The following are issues that may occur in a person experiencing difficulties with lateralisation:


∙          Delayed decision of lateral dominance


∙          Tendency to scatter and misplace objects in personal space


∙          Extreme rotation of writing or reading surface


∙          Unusual tip of the head while writing (30-40 degree tip usually indicates crossed dominance between eye and hand)


∙          Difficulty perceiving left and right sides of objects and letters


∙          Uncertainty about personal left and right body sides


∙          Tendency to move toward the non-dominant hand in motor activities


∙          Need to rotate surfaces to complete motor activities that cross the midline


∙          Difficulty making decisions


∙          Difficulty accepting a change in a rule or decision once it is made.


∙          Excellent batting in cricket or baseball but difficulty with many other sports."

ILT: Causes


Cross Laterality

"Your foot, eye, and ear should be dominant on the same side as your dominant hand. If one or more is not, you have mixed dominance issues."

Katherine's Page: Mixed Dominance


"If an individual has no dominance or is mix-dominant after the age of 7, dominance will not be established without specific intervention. Some individuals may be able to compensate for lack of dominance, but the fact is that to be neurologically efficient, establishing dominance will make organizing information learned visually and auditorily much easier. An analogy would be a filing system. An individual with dominance established has an orderly filing system and can retrieve information easily and efficiently. An individual without dominance has trouble retrieving information, especially when he gets emotional."

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


Mixed Laterality or Lateral Confusion

There seems to be some confusion (no pun intended) about the definition of mixed dominance. According to some sites, mixed dominance is synonymous with cross dominance.  Others use it synonymously with mixed laterality. Mixed laterality is defined as: 


"Tendency to perform some acts with a right side preference and others with a left, or the shifting from right to left for certain activities.(10)"

Glossary of Learning Disabilities Terms


At the moment, I'm not absolutely sure which definition of mixed dominance is being used by the sites which I have referenced on this page. I had assumed that they were using the term mixed dominance synonymously with cross dominance.


As far as mixed laterality is concerned, I have read that it is perfectly normal to use your other hand under some circumstances. For instance, I believe it's common for right-handed mothers to hold their babies with their left arm.


I've also read that no one is truly ambidextrous. I believe there is a test for determining if you are left or right hand dominant.


An Aversion to Exercise

People with mixed laterality might have an aversion to exercises such as walking and running because these exercises tend to strengthen both sides of the body equally.

Compensating for these exercises, by spending additional time strengthening your dominant hand and the foot that is on the same side as the dominant hand, may be helpful. It also may be helpful to squeeze your dominant hand while exercising. 


Determining Laterality

·        Laterality: Determining Laterality


Correcting Laterality

Preserving Hand Dominance

If you don't participate in activities that require the use of your dominant hand, it's a good idea to exercise your dominant hand regularly. I have found that squeezing 'stress' balls is helpful.

     More information about hand dominance can be found in the section Handedness


Correcting Hemispheric Dominance

Lateralized Goggles

Note: Blocking the vision in one of your eyes for a long period of time (i.e. more than 6 hours per day) may cause vision problems.


According to Dr. Fredric Schiffer, the creator of Dual-Brain psychology, for some individuals one hemisphere of the brain is more mature than the other. Under these circumstances he refers to the hemispheres as being mature and immature.


Anxiety can cause the immature hemisphere of the brain to become dominant.


Reestablishing the more mature hemisphere's dominance may be accomplished using a pair of right visual field goggles periodically if your mature hemisphere is your left hemisphere, and the opposite if your more mature hemisphere is your right hemisphere.


Dr. Schiffer's goggles are described in his book The Revolutionary Science of Dual Brain Psychology.


His design blocks one eye completely, and also blocks the inner half of the other eye. It is very effective for stimulating activity in the opposite hemisphere. However, it is also difficult to see while wearing his goggles.


An alternative would be to only block one eye [i.e. block the left eye and look to the far right if you’re right handed, and vice versa; monocular vision]. This design would be less of an obstruction, but it would not be as effective as Dr. Schiffer's design.


For more information about Dual-Brain psychology please visit the Dual-Brain Psychology page.


Unilateral Nostril Breathing

"Relative nostril efficiency (nasal cycle) is related to hemispheric EEG differences and performance on cognitive tasks. We investigated how unilateral forced nostril breathing influences spatial and verbal performance. Right-handed males and females performed both tasks under either left-nostril, right-nostril, or free-breathing conditions. Unilateral breathing affects performance differently in males and females. It influences male performance ipsilaterally on both tasks: Their spatial performance is better during right-nostril breathing, and their verbal performance is better during left-nostril breathing. Unilateral breathing influences female performance contralaterally, but only on the spatial task: Their spatial performance is better during left-nostril breathing. These differences within and between sexes may exist because unilateral nostril breathing differentially activates the two hemispheres and thereby facilitates performance, or because attempts of the brain to control the nasal cycle unilaterally interfere with performance."

Brain Cogn.: Unilateral nostril breathing influences lateralized cognitive performance


"In an interesting twist, Josh Backon, a member of the Department of Cardiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes in an Internet posting…that in order to increase left-hemisphere activity (linear, language, logical), one can block the left nostril and engage in 'forced unilateral nostril breathing.' Likewise, to increase right-hemisphere activity (creative, holistic, emotional), the right nostril should be blocked. This practice increases the supply of negative ions to a specific hemisphere."

Comtech Research: Some Scientific Research


Correcting Eye Dominance

Vision Suggestions: Binocular Functions: Amblyopia


Discomfort caused by Covering One Eye

The author of the article 'Mixed Dominance' (which was referred to in the Warning, Other Suggestions section) suggests covering one eye with an eye patch to correct cross eye dominance. Today there are alternatives to eye patches, such as glasses with frosted lenses.

     The restricted field of view caused by blocking one eye can cause anxiety. This anxiety can cause a decrease in hemispheric communication, which may exacerbate binocular dysfunction.

     To compensate for this, I would suggest some form of vision therapy, such as the Bates Method. I believe that the Bates Method exercises increase hemispheric communication. Improved hemispheric communication may help to alleviate binocular dysfunction.


Correcting Foot Dominance

Hopping Exercise

Note:The hopping exercise mentioned in this section can place a lot of stress on your knee. Perhaps another form of exercise may be better. If you do choose to do the hopping exercise, keep your knees bent and try to avoid locking your knees.

"NACD had me do “hopping” exercises with my kids when they were little to firmly establish the right foot as their dominant foot – they’d hop on the right foot for 2 minutes, twice a day."

Katherine's Page: Mixed Dominance


Things to Avoid

The dominant foot is the foot you typically use to balance your weight and should be on the same side of your body as your dominant hand.

   Avoid supporting the bulk of your weight on the non-dominant foot, for example while sitting. Instead, resting the bulk of the weight on the dominant foot may be beneficial.


Correcting Ear Dominance

Ear Infections

"Avoid food additives, chemicals, sweeteners and sugar, Whole grains should be used. Milk should be avoided [ear infections]."

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


Good Quality Input

Note: Some people with sound sensitivity may be hypersensitive to high frequency noise. If this is the case for you, I believe that you should adjust the level of high frequency noise using a treble control or a graphic equalizer instead of avoiding high-frequencies noises altogether, and its potential benefits.

"Lack of good qualty input, that is, excellent language, music, etc, can result in lack of ability in auditory function. There are indications that high frequency sounds stimulate and energize the brain. Low frequency and distorted sounds (like rock and rap music) disorganize and shut the brain down."

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


·           Hearing: The Mozart Effect


The Tomatis Method

Note: The original Tomatis method seems to always encourage right ear dominance. However, some therapists do modify the Tomatis method for left-handed people.

     The creator of this method believed that it could benefit people with conditions such as ADD and autism. However, it’s important to keep in mind that ADD and autism can have other causes--some of them phy-sio-logical in nature, and might not be affected by the Tomatis method.

·        The following article contains some useful information.

Vanderbilt University: Health Psychology: 'The Tomatis Method' by Jilll Lawton


Things to Avoid

If you have mixed ear dominance you should avoid loud or disturbing noises. If you play computer games I would suggest turning off the volume.


White or Pink Noise

Since white or pink noise can be used to mask sound, it may be helpful to listen to it with the ear which _shouldn't_ be dominant. The volume of this noise shouldn't be louder than the noises in your surrounding environment.

   Most people seem to prefer ear plugs instead of listening to white or pink noise. More information about ear plugs can be found in the section Hearing Suggestions: Ear Plugs


Things to Consider

If you are experiencing high arousal or hyperactivity, stimulating the ear which _should be_ dominant will only make you more tired. More information about hyperactivity can be found in the section Hyperactivity/High Arousal


Straining to Hear, Tuning Out

The dominant ear is not always the ear that is exposed to louder noise.

·          Disturbing noises, even if they are loud, can cause us to ignore them. Such noises may even cause the subdominant ear to be dominant.

·          Quiet noises can have the opposite effect. For example, lowering the noise of a loud television to a barely audible level can cause people to strain to hear it.


Warning, Other Suggestions


·        The author of the article 'Mixed Dominance', Katherine Bell is not an expert on the treatment of mixed dominance.

·         One of the author's suggestions is that mixed ear dominance may be corrected by plugging the offending ear. She specifies that this should only be done for several hours a day, over a period of weeks or months. She also mentions that she is not an expert on this subject.

·        Chronically plugging the ears can permanently impair some auditory functions. More information about this topic can be found in the section: Ear Plugs: Chronically Plugging the Ears


"NACD rarely tries to correct dominance issues in normal, high-functioning adults. First, it will drive you crazy to mess with it, so unless it’s causing you a lot of difficulty, you may be better off leaving it alone. Also, the older you are, and the longer you’ve had the problem, the longer it takes to switch it back. But it can be nice to know what the problem is, and if you’re really determined, you can do it."

Katherine's Page: Mixed Dominance



CAN-DO: Services

CAN-DO: Links


Alternative Methods:

Neuropsychological Stimulation, Psychomotor Patterning, New Visions school (Bob DeBoer), Art Sandler (therapist), Neurofeedback

The following excerpts are from the book 'A Symphony in the Brain' by Jim Robbins


"As an infant is exposed to sound, for example, neuronal pathways in the brain develop that govern different aspects of hearing, a little at a time. When there is brain damage, those pathways do not form or form improperly. Because function, says DeBoer, builds this structure in the brain, Sandler's program puts a patient through a long and intensive period of therapy that uses repeated movement and sounds and visual exercises to slowly create new pathways in the brain where there were none and to take over for damaged or undeveloped areas."


"Sandler's work [neuropsychological stimulation] borrowed some from a controversial technique called "psychomotor patterning," developed in the 1960s by Glenn Doman and Carl Delacato."


'Going Subdominant'

"Going 'subdominant' or getting emotional causes the individual to not be able to remember things he knows. This 'test anxiety' is eliminated by establishing dominance. First of all, the information is mentally filed in a more orderly fashion, making it easier to remember. Secondly, because the logic of the dominant hemisphere can override the emotionality of the subdominant hemisphere, emotional control is improved."

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


·        Correcting Hemispheric Dominance: Lateralized Goggles


Problems with Dominance

Developmental Causes

"We are finding that the too early and too complicated activities which are demanded from the senses today cause many children who are right-handed to use their left eye when looking at objects rather than their right eye. This is termed a cross dominance between the eye and hand, displacing the normal laterality of the body. Then, too, there are the growing numbers of children who use the left hand while retaining the dominance of the right eye."

Dominance: Its Relationship to Behavior and Learning Difficulties


Passive Activities

"…Activities with normal right-handed orientation are disappearing in our daily living: sweeping, polishing, beating eggs, stirring cakes, repairing, etc. The modern substitutes have become passive rather than active activities. Activities such as sitting and watching TV do nothing to educate the child in using his/her bodily construction in accordance with nature’s plan. The result is slowness in developing skills and weakened powers of concentration. The freedom that technology brings lays on us the responsibility of more consciousness toward the needs of the next generation."

Dominance: Its Relationship to Behavior and Learning Difficulties



When we're tired we tend to depend more on the other side of the body. Over time, we may become more dependent on our other eye, hand, foot and ear.


Muscle Tension

Mixed Laterality and Muscle Tension: Description

The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body. 


As a result:

·        Tension on one side of the body is associated with an increase in activity in the opposite hemisphere of the brain.

·        Tension on both sides of the body is associated with an increase in activity in both sides of the brain.


Because of these relationships:

·        It is important to try to avoid muscle tension on both sides of the body because it may exacerbate mixed laterality.

·        It is especially important to avoid muscle tension in your subdominant hand, foot, eye, and ear because it may cause or exacerbate cross laterality. Try to avoid habits such as:

  • Crossing the leg which should be dominant over your other leg
  • Resting the foot which should be dominant on your other foot
  • Resting the subdominant hand on the leg that shouldn't be dominant, etc.

·        It seems that you could increase acitivity in the hemisphere of the brain which should be dominant by allowing tension in the opposite side of the body. But, obviously, any tension will ultimately lead to fatigue, and more tension.

·        Instead of allowing the dominant side of your body to be tense, you might want to consider spending some time in a meditative pose, or simply crossing your legs while sitting, with the leg which shouldn't be dominant crossed over the leg which should be dominant.


Mixed Laterality and Muscle Tension: Related Topics

Suggestions: Muscle Tension


Problems with Ear Dominance


"A big cause of mixed ear dominance in our day and age is the telephone. Right-handed people tend to always put the telephone to the left ear in order to keep the dominant hand free for writing (and vice versa for left-hander). This is fine for writing; but over time, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on the phone for extended periods, you can inadvertently shift your dominance to the wrong ear. If you find you have a lot of trouble remembering facts you receive by phone, it may be because you’re inputting the information sub-dominantly. Try switching to the ear on the same side as your 'handedness.'  You may be able to remember better."

Katherine's Page: Mixed Dominance



"There are many parents with whom I have worked that identify vaccinations, especially the MMR, and DPT as the start of their child's troubles. There is much information out there for parents to research on this subject and should be seriously considered."

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


Hearing Loss

·           HealthCentral: Hearing Loss


Distortions, Hypo/Hyper-Auditory Hearing

·          "Listening is an active process and must have good tonal processing.

·          Research has shown that the ability to distinguish sounds and process those sounds can be bad even though the audiogram looks good.

·          Working with many, many individuals that manifest auditory problems, we can see that there are

  • Certain frequenciesin which a person processes very little information,
  • Certain frequencies in which the individual is too sensitive and hence shuts down, and
  • Frequencies in which the hearing is distorted and sounds can't be distinguished in a noisy background...everything is a buzz.

·          The autistic child, who has major auditory problems, usually manifest normal or superior hearing across the frequencies, but with extreme distortions.

·           Many of the ADD or ADHD children manifest extreme hypo/hyper-auditory hearing profiles, manifesting both problems in the same individuals"

CAN-DO: Hearing, Learning and Listening: The Role of Auditory Function in Academics and Everyday Life


Ear Congestion

·        Suggestions: Ear Congestion


Hyperacusis, Recruitment, and Hyperacute Hearing

·        Sound Sensitivity


Hemispheric Communication, Cross Dominance, and Binocular Function

"Interhemispheric integration refers to the communication between the left and right cerebral hemispheres. To function efficiently, we need to integrate information from various specialised centres and to coordinate a planned response. Efficient binocular functions require interhemispheric integration of the two hemispheres.

            Children who are cross dominant (e.g. right handed but left eyed) require very efficient interhemispheric integration to compensate for additional demands to integrate information from two competing or differing perceptual and operational modes. Sucking and crawling are two activities of infancy that assist in developing interhemispheric integration. Furthermore, interhemispheric integration is interdependent on differentiation and lateralisation."

ILT: “What’s wrong with my child”: Getting to the root causes of learning difficulties


"A person with mixed dominance may have trouble learning things sometimes, this is because their brains have to work a bit differently from others. To interpret information in a brain with a mixed dominance it must travel back and forth between the hemispheres.  But it doesn't always cause problems, Einstien and Leonardo Da Vinci both probably had a mixed dominance"

Brain Dominance


Laterality and Brainwaves


·          "The differences between the laterality indices for the theta bands between the left and the right lateral visual field glasses was highly significant in the expected direction by repeated measures…

·          In 11 of the 12 subjects the asymmetry index [an increasein the asymmetry index would result from increased left relative to right theta or alpha EEG activity], as predicted, was larger during the left [stimulates right brain] than the right [stimulates left brain] lateral visual field glasses. 

·          The remaining subject showed essentially no difference in the theta EEG asymmetry indices between the two lateralized glasses. 

·          In contrast, there was no significant difference in laterality index with right versus left monocular glasses…"

Fredric Schiffer, MD: EEG, Bilateral Ear Temperature, and Affect Changes Induced by Lateral Visual Field Stimulation


·          Research Topics: Brainwaves: Theta Brainwaves

·          Research Topics: Dual-Brain Psychology (Dr. Fredric Schiffer)


Too Much Lateralisation

Too Much Beta Brainwaves, Dopamine

According to an article in the section Laterality and Brainwaves, the effect of stimulating the right-brain, or the left side of the body, causes an increase in theta brainwaves, in most individuals.

     One of the articles in the section:

Research Topics: Brainwaves: Brainwaves and Neurotransmitters

states that lower brainwaves, such as theta brainwaves, tend to cause the release of serotonin.


Overstimulating the left-brain seems to have the opposite effect in most individuals. It seems to cause the brain to produce too much beta brainwaves, and it also appears to cause an excess of dopamine.



·          Interhemispheric Integration


Things to Consider

Reinforcing Hand and Foot Dominance

If you regularly participate in activities which require the use of both hands or both feet (e.g. typing, walking), or you do not exercise regularly, it may be a good idea to spend some time each day reinforcing your hand or foot dominance.


Head Tilt

“It has been proposed that asymmetry in the inner ear underlies various manifestations of brain-behaviour asymmetry in the human. Specifically,

·        Previc (1991) argued that an otolith [part of the inner ear] imbalance manifests itself in an asymmetrical head posture, and

·        later (1994) suggested that head tilt may be consonant [in keeping] with other measures of human laterality.

The present study tested the reliability of head tilt across days and assessed its relationship with

·        handedness,

·        footedness, and

·        eyedness.

As in Previc's earlier studies, a majority of our subjects tilted rightward. Head tilt proved to be highly stable across days but was not correlated with the other laterality measures. These findings suggest that head tilt may reflect an underlying asymmetric substrate that appears not to be directly related to other measures of cerebral hemispheric dominance.”

'Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain, and Cognition' (Journal): 'Direction and Reliability of Head Tilt in Humans'



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