DOI: 10.1101/305425Apr 20, 2018Paper

Early life factors influencing hand preference in the UK biobank cohort

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Carolien G.F. de KovelClyde Francks


Hand preference is a conspicuous variation in human behaviour, with a worldwide proportion of around 90% of people preferring to use the right hand for many tasks, and 10% the left hand. As the developmental foundations of hand preference occur in utero, with further establishment within the first two years of life, prenatal and early-life factors are likely to play a role. Various, often related, factors have been studied in the past, but often in small samples, or samples with biased selection schemes. We used the large, general population cohort of the UK biobank (~500,000 participants) to study possible relations between early life factors and adult hand preference. The probability of being left-handed was affected by the year and location of birth, birthweight, being part of a multiple birth, season of birth, breastfeeding, as well as sex, with each effect remaining significant after accounting for all others. Maternal smoking showed no association with handedness. Analysis of genome-wide polymorphism data indicated a tentative genetic correlation between handedness and birth-weight, which was opposite to their overall phenotypic correlation. However, the total effect on handedness of all these factors was very small. Ther...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.