Researchers get a better grip on left and right handedness

Sep 30, 2020

New Delhi, Sep 30 (ANI): In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers have identified 48 genetic variants that influence if a person is left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous. The research led by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and The University of Queensland also confirmed that environment plays a far larger part than genes in which hand a person prefers to use. Co-senior author and head of QIMR Berghofer's Psychiatric Genetics Group, Professor Sarah Medland said 41 of the identified genetic variants influenced a person's chances of being left-handed. Seven were associated with ambidexterity, which describes when a person is equally proficient with each hand. "The 41 genetic variants influencing left-handedness were different to the seven we identified for ambidexterity, and we saw very little correlation between the results for the two traits," Professor Medland said. Joint-senior author from The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Professor David Evans said the large data set also confirmed that the influence of genetics on handedness was relatively modest. The study findings have been published today in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.