Letter | Published:


Naturevolume 29page452 (1884) | Download Citation



IN all the letters thus far published in NATURE on the subject of the tendency to deflection in walking, I find two things confounded which are quite distinct. There are two distinct senses in which we may use the term right-leggedness: the one refers to strength, the other to dexterity or accurate co-ordination of muscular action. In the arm these two always go together; for dexterity gives greater use (dexterity, I believe, is largely inherited), and use gives greater strength. But in the leg these may be and often are dissociated. As Prof. Darwin truly says, the left leg is often the stronger, but I believe the right is nearly always the more dexterous. My own case is a typical one. I hop on my left leg, and rise from it in jumping. But I do so not only because the left is stronger, but also, and I think mainly, because I use the right more dexterously as a swinging weight. The dexterous management of the free leg is certainly no less important than the strength of the jumping leg. In kicking or performing any other movement requiring dexterity, I stand on the left leg and use the right.

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  1. Berkeley, California



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