Hand Tools Archive

Re: One Hand Trains the Brain to Control the Other

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Interesting post, David.

While I work with areas such as visualisation and visual working memory, I do not have much experience with crossed dominance.

I was thinking about this issue, and especially the article that William linked to (VERY interesting, William. Thanks). One item that popped into my mind was the treatment for a "lazy eye", which is patching the strong eye to force the weak eye to do the work and strengthen that way. In other words, rather than strengthen the non-dominant hand, strengthen the non-dominant eye ... ?

I did a little Googling, and stopped when I found a relevant article. The conclusion was as follows:

"Cross Dominance Training through Vision Therapy
Under an optometrist's supervision, fundamental visual skills can be improved through vision therapy or VT. The aim of VT is to improve visual comfort, ease and efficiency by using therapeutic lenses, prisms, filters, occluders, patches, electronic targets and balance boards. One VT training method is working with a Bernell Rotator using visual motor integration to place an object on a moving target. The idea of the exercise is to place a peg in a target spot in the rotator with your dominant eye covered, thus forcing your non-dominant eye to strengthen. The test is repeated until you can perform the test equally with the non-dominant and dominant eye.

Train Your Cross Dominance at Home
The swinging ball exercise can be performed at home by attaching a rubber softball to a length of rope and suspending it from a ceiling so it can swing freely. Draw three one to two inch circles on the ball in red, yellow and blue. Section a dowel rod into three parts covering one third in red tape, one third in yellow tape and one third in blue tape. Suspend the ball at eye level, cover your dominant eye and step back 16 inches.Tap the colored section of dowel to the corresponding colored section on the ball.

For monocular acuity improvement, cover the dominant eye and use tweezers drop grains of rice into a small-mouth bottle or jar. Get as many grains of rice in the jar with the non-dominant eye as you can with the dominant eye in a specific time period. For an added challenge, use the non-dominant hand.

Important Considerations
The brain is "hard-wired", so the goal of training is not to change eye dominance but to enhance the visual accuracy of the non-dominant eye. Do your visual training exercises during the off-season of your sport. Many sports can be adapted so that the athlete maintains the cross dominant position. In target shooting for example, you put the gun in front of your dominant eye. Close your non-dominant eye, then draw and point at the target. Now open your non-dominant eye. You may have to shoot with the non-dominant eye closed for a while to get used to this position; but it's certainly better than switching the gun to your non-dominant hand".

Regards from Perth


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