Magnetic mind control? It’s possible.Scientists from UC Berkeley now claim they’ve discovered a way to switch a person’s preference from their right-hand to their left by overriding the brain’s decision process using – yes, magnets. Through transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, the Berkeley team has found a way to disable the competition between the two hands that occurs in your cortex each time you perform a small task. Though your dominant hand rules larger tasks, we’re all on a sliding scale of ambidextrous ability, performing menial tasks (ringing a doorbell, opening a door) with either hand. But with TMS, your brain can be conditioned to pick left each time.
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A group of right-handed subjects volunteered for the magnetic conditioning, which interrupts neurons in control of motor skills in order to lessen the chance of the dominant hand being chosen to perform simple tasks. Instead of their right, test subjects preferred their left hands after a dose of TMS, which lead the project’s researchers to believe in the possibility that TMS could continue to influence the brain’s decision-making process, down to what kind of fruit to eat or which movie to see.
Pop culture conditioning aside – can’t you just picture the TV execs drooling? – the TMS breakthrough could prove an asset to the medical community considering what it could mean for those struggling to function with their non-dominant hands after injury or illness.