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
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 8:39
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    I haven't heard any, but musicians are apparently good at this ... news.vanderbilt.edu/2008/10/… Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 9:41
  • 'bilateral' dominance ?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 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. Commented Apr 22, 2014 at 19:50

4 Answers 4


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
  • Great answer. I would say Leonardo Da Vinci may have been both sided, he was a terrific engineer and also a terrific artist.
    – Aaron
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 20:23

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


Well, I am one of those people who does some things right-handed, some things left-handed and some things with either hand. I did not know it until just now but the term for it is "cross-dominance".


*Cross-dominance, also known as mixed-handedness, hand confusion, or mixed dominance, is a motor skill manifestation in which a person favors one hand for some tasks and the other hand for others, or a hand and the contralateral leg. For example, a cross-dominant person might write with the right hand and do everything else with the left one, or manage and kick a ball preferentially with the left leg.[1][2][...]

It can also refer to mixed laterality, which refers to a person favoring eyes, ears, feet, or hands on one side of the body. A person who is cross-dominant can also be stronger on the opposite side of the body that they favor; for example, a right-handed person can be stronger on the left side. Cross-dominance can often be a problem when shooting or in activities that require aim, although athletes can still achieve success in sports that require accuracy, like passing in American football and shooting in basketball.*

You can also have a dominant eye, ear, elbow, hip, etc.

  • In the question, I call out "ambidextrous" as an adjective that describes a specific type of cross-dominance, namely that of handedness. I was looking for a similar adjective that would be more specific to brain dominance theory, not the generic idea of cross-dominance itself. Commented Oct 13, 2020 at 22:07

Smart, intelligent, and amazing.

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