In brain dominance theory, the terms left-/right-brained, left-/right-minded, and left/right hemisphere dominant are often used to describe a particular lateral dominance within the human brain. Many also use these terms to help generalize the patterns of thought that such a dominance might connote; that is, an aptitude for "logic, language, and analytical thinking" for left-brained, and an aptitude for "expressive and creative tasks" for right-brained.

Likewise, when referring to hand dominance, we say left-handed and right-handed, but there are some cases of cross-dominance in handedness, in which we refer to individuals as ambidextrous, meaning "able to use both hands equally well."

Is there a word, in the same vein as ambidextrous, which can be used to describe having an equal aptitude for traditionally left- and right-brained tasks?

  • An interesting question. Are you familiar with the Mind proposal on area 51? I think this question might be a good fit for that – user57234 Jun 30 '13 at 8:39
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    I haven't heard any, but musicians are apparently good at this ... news.vanderbilt.edu/2008/10/… – dodgy_coder Jun 30 '13 at 9:41
  • 'bilateral' dominance ? – Mitch Jun 30 '13 at 14:10
  • Great question. I don't think we have a word for it as it isn't common knowledge and certainly hasn't been known for a long time. – Aaron Jun 30 '13 at 20:21
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    In my experience, mixed dominance is a different phenomenon from ambidextrous. Mixed dominance (or cross dominance) describes the condition of a person who uses different hands for different tasks; ambidextrous refers to a person who may use either hand for any task with no loss of dexterity. – outis nihil Apr 22 '14 at 19:50

It really is an interesting question. While the left/right brain distinction is being disputed somewhat within psychology (in terms of each hemisphere being the domain of a certain type of abilities mostly absent in its opposite), whenever there is discussion on this topic it practically never features the idea that the two can be equally dominant. That option is not denied, it's just never discussed for long enough to give us a term to go by.

I have been able to find one term that might describe what you're looking for though: hemispheric synchronization.

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It is a bit of a mouth-full, admittedly. You might also be able to use symmetry, and I have also seen the term bilateral being used.

This questionnaire will give you an indication of your tendency to be a left-brain learner, a right-brain learner, or a bilateral learner (using both about equally).

I've also encountered the term bilateral symmetry used together.

The hemispheres exhibit strong, but not complete, bilateral symmetry in both structure and function.


  • hemispheric synchronization
  • bilateral/bilaterality
  • bilateral symmetry
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  • Great answer. I would say Leonardo Da Vinci may have been both sided, he was a terrific engineer and also a terrific artist. – Aaron Jun 30 '13 at 20:23

Mid-brained may be a misnomer but it fits within the taxonomy of objective versus subjective brain-hemisphere codification.

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Ambi-cerebrus? 🤷‍♀️ (I may have made that up... 🧐)

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Jenni Wiggins is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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    I would have said "ambi-braineous". – Hot Licks 2 days ago
  • Hi Jenni. We're looking for already existing words. If you haven't seen this word used in the wild, with the specific meaning, then it's not a good answer to this question. – Matt E. Эллен 16 hours ago

Smart, intelligent, and amazing.

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