Genes linked to left handed identifiedDate: 30 September 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
Australian researchers have identified 48 new genetic variants which influence whether a person will be left- or right-handed, or ambidextrous, in the largest ever study of its kind.
Scientists remained convinced that environmental factors play a larger role than genetics in terms of influence on handedness.
The study analysed genetic data from over 1.7 million people, identifying 41 genetic variants associated with being left-handed, and seven linked with being ambidextrous.
More than 1.7 million samples from international bio-banks were used to study genetic data.
Coming from such a large data set, the results also reaffirmed the relatively small role which genetics plays in the process.
Factors such as injuring a hand or training by playing sport or musical instruments are likely to have a strong role in a person's ability to use both hands equally well.
Hand preference is first observed while still in the womb, with embryos showing single arm movements.
Researchers say that environmental factors play a larger role than genes in determining which hand a person favours.
Research also dispelled the belief that ambidextrousness was a middle-zone between left and right-handedness.