Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Another Statistical Study on Right and Left

In an earlier story of this collection of essays, I introduced a psychologist's statistical study on the side of a pair's turning of their head in kissing. Amar Klar of the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, USA, made another statistical study on right and left.

According to an article in Nature Science Update [1], Klar secretly inspected people's top of the head by spying on them in airports and shopping malls, ignoring the longhaired and the bald. He found the followings [2]: More than 95% of right-handers' hair whorled clockwise on the scalp and that the locks of lefties and the ambidextrous are equally likely to coil either way.

I write with the right hand, use a driver and some other tools with the left hand, and have a pair of whorls curing clockwise and anticlockwise. This is quite consistent with Klar's reuslt.

Klar is reported to have said, "A single gene with either 'right' or 'random' forms might underlie the trend. People with one or two copies of the right version would be right-handed, with clockwise hair; those with two random versions would split 50/50 for handedness and hair whorls." He is now seeking such a gene.

The article also says: Left-handed or ambidextrous people are more likely to store language in the right side of the brain, are more prone to schizophrenia and, anecdotally, are more often creative or even geniuses. -- Oh, I'm prone to schizophrenia or may be a genius! --
  1. "Handedness equals hairstyle: One gene might control both - and explain the divided brain," Nature Science Update, Sep. 4 2003.
  2. A. J. S. Klar, "Human handedness and scalp hair whorl direction develop from a common genetic mechanism," Genetics, in press (2003).