Shelagh Robinson Mirror Read Blog 26: Backwords Science: Your Dominant Eye

Who knew how many complete strangers from around the world would want to contribute to advances in Mirror Read research? Thanks! 
to the almost 200 people – and counting – who have submitted answers to questions we included on the Settings of the Mirror Read App since we released it on December 16, 2010.  Please keep them coming!

Dominant eyes? Sure!
Much appreciation to all who offered critiques on the survey, and for pointing out that you didn’t even know that you had a dominant eye, much less knowing how to determine which was which… My regrets.

For those of you who aren’t sure if you are an eye-lefty or eye-righty, please follow the instructions at the end of this blog.

And dominant eye matters why? Visual acuity is not just about prescription strength.  Which of our eyes is stronger is influenced by experiences, genetics, stress, and possibly by perceptual activities, like mirror reading.

Traditionally, mirror reading research has involved neurological patients, or people with mental impairments.  With all the studies showing that Mirror Reading is a key right-brain skill, it’s become important to know more about innate ability versus practice effects in regular readers too. And to find out whether or not mirror reading aptitude has to do with cultural background, brain specialization, or other factors, like dominant eyes.
Unless we ask, we don’t learn…
Knowing if you are right or left-eye dominant isn’t just important for sharp-shooters and pool-sharks.  It can make a difference in how you look at and use all visual information with accuracy.

The questions we’re asking are straight-forward: We’re looking at trends in handedness and mirror reading experience, as well as first language and familiarity with right-to-left writing. And we are exploring gender differences in mirror reading, and dominant legs too…

We’ve gotten great suggestions for additions to the Mirror Read App Survey; thanks to everyone who submitted ideas.  We’re listening! The new version of the Backwords Survey will be included with on Mirror Read 2.0. In the meantime, I will be posting the updated questions on the Mirror Read Website shortly.  We intend to extend reversible research in lots of different ways – and would love your input.

And so, what might it mean if you are a male, left-eye dominant, right handed Arabic reader/ writer?  You may have some advantages at Mirror Reading… Check back here for info about our analyses.

Here is the answer to how to determine which of your eyes is dominant:

-Take a blank sheet of paper and a pair of scissors.
-Cut a small hole in the paper, about the circumference of a large coin.  An easy way to do this is to fold the paper into quarters, cut a small slice from the most-folded corner and open it to reveal a square hole in the centre.
-Choose an object in the room to look at.  For example, a glass or a can: Standing about 8 feet away, hold the paper up to locate the object in the centre of the page.
Now, close your left eye and look at the object. Close your right eye.
-If the object disappears when you are covering your right eye, you are a “righty.”  If the object disappears when you are covering your left eye, you are a “lefty.”

Care to contribute your suggestions for questions NOT on the Mirror Read Survey survey? I’d love to hear from you.  Write at

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