Brain Calls the Shots on Which Hand Holds Cellphone

FRIDAY Feb. 24, 2012 -- About 70 percent of people hold their cellphone to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand, a new study finds.

Left-brain thinkers are more likely to use their right hand for writing and other everyday tasks. They're also more likely to hold their cellphone to their right ear, even though there's no difference in hearing between their right and left ears.

The reverse is true for people who are left-handed and right-brain dominant, according to the study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Their online survey of more than 700 people found that 68 percent of right-handed people said they held their cellphone to their right ear, while 25 percent used the left ear, and 7 percent used both ears.

Among left-handed people, 72 percent said they held their cellphone to their left ear, 23 percent used their right ear, and 5 percent used both ears.

The study is scheduled to be presented Feb. 26 at a meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in San Diego.

"Our findings have several implications, especially for mapping the language center of the brain," Dr. Michael Seidman, director of the division of otologic and neurotologic surgery in the department of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, said in a Henry Ford Health System news release.

The findings also suggest that there's no link between cellphone use and brain, and head and neck tumors, according to Seidman.

If there were a connection, far more people would be diagnosed on the right side of their brain, head and neck because most people are right-handed and hold their cellphones to their right ear, he said.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

Neuroscience for Kids has more about the left and right sides of the brain.

Posted: February 2012


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