Gene Behind Left-Handedness Identified

by Paromita Datta last updated -

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Your handedness may be decided by your genes. Research by scientists from the University of Oxford, published in the journal Brain last week disclosed that they have found the gene areas responsible for handedness. They also found that the left and right sides of the brain that deals with language skills work in a more coordinated way among left-handed people.

These findings are based on UK Biobank genotype. The team studied imaging data of the participants’ brain’s structural and functional formation. 3144 brain-scans were studied, of which 721 were left-handers and 6685 were right-handers. They discovered three genome-wide loci that determine handedness.

An image of the brain inside the skull

Significantly, these gene areas also have influence on common genetic influence on mental health phenotypes like Parkinson’s disease, neuroticism, and mood swings. The findings also suggest that the grey matter tract in both the left and right sides of the brain connected to languages works in a more coordinated way in left-handed people. This suggests better language generation and comprehension in left-handers.

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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She is currently pursuing an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Standford University, US.

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