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Handedness and drinking behaviour

Article

Handedness and drinking behaviour

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Abstract

A number of papers have investigated whether there is an association between handedness and alcohol consumption hypothesizing that alcoholism may be a consequence of atypical cerebral lateralization or a response to the stress involved in being a minority in a right-handed world. Research to date has mostly used small clinical samples, some without a comparison group. This paper exams this issue using a large population-based random sample. A large multi-country data set of nationally representative samples of the non-institutional population aged 50 years and older from 12 European countries was used (N= 27,428). methods: Logistic regression was used to model the frequency with which individuals self-report the frequency of alcohol consumption. A series of models with differing numbers of potential confounders are estimated. The predictors of frequent and infrequent drinking are investigated separately. After controlling for a number of confounders it is shown that left-handers do drink more often. However, this is due to them being less likely to drink rarely (less than once a month) or not at all. The evidence suggests that while there is an association between left-handedness and frequency of alcohol consumption there is no reason to believe that it is associated with excessive alcohol consumption or risky drinking.

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... Some studies have suggested a link between left-handedness and increased alcohol consumption. For example, Denny (2011) investigated the relationship between self-reported alcohol consumption and handedness in a large, multinational non-clinical sample (n = 27,428). After controlling for age, sex, and education, the results revealed that left-handedness was positively related to frequency of alcohol consumption. ...
... Such findings imply that left-handers have an increased risk of substance abuse problems, coupled with poorer treatment outcomes. Whether these problems are related to the stresses associated with being a minority in a right-handed world or as a consequence of atypical cerebral lateralization, as suggested by Denny (2011), remains to be determined. ...
Article
Left-handers have been persecuted by right-handers for millennia. This right bias is evident cross-culturally, linguistically (right is literally and figuratively ‘right’, with lefties being described as ‘gauche’, ‘sinister’ and ‘cack-handed’), and environmentally (e.g., equipment design, including power tools, ticket machines, and lecture-room desks). Despite this, the proportion of left-handers has remained constant at approximately 10% of the hominid population, implying that though there are costs associated with left-handedness (if there were not, the proportions of left- and right-handers would be 50:50), left handers must also enjoy fitness advantages that maintain the genes for left-handedness in the population. This paper reviews the costs and benefits of being left-handed, exploring research examining the effects of handedness on brain structure, cognitive function, and human behaviour. The research confirms a variety of left-hander advantages, including some cognitive superiorities, higher wages, and greater sporting and fighting prowess. On the other hand, left-handedness is also associated with significant fitness costs, including an increased risk of accidents, higher substance abuse susceptibility, and earlier death, in comparison with right-handers. In sum, left-handedness confers both costs and benefits, with the latter outweighing the former, maintaining the genes for left-handedness in the population.
... The study gleans some useful information in a relatively sparse area of the literature and is therefore worthy of a read-albeit with a critical eye toward the limitations stated above. non-right-handedness has also been previously associated with non-heterosexuality, alcohol use, depression, and anorexia nervosa (Denny, 2009(Denny, , 2011Lalumière et al., 2000;Tenconi et al., 2010.). ...
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The B4U-ACT Quarterly Review (B4QR) offers critical summaries of the latest publications concerning minor attracted people. The reviews are written by a team composed of MAP-research specialists (often PhD students) as well as MAPs themselves. This first issue of the second volume reviews 8 different articles published in 2021, including 3 articles on female MAPs.
... Additionally, some neurodevelopmental markers discussed as being specific for pedophilia, such as increased rates of left handedness/ambidexterity, have also been found among men with non-heterosexual orientation (Lalumière et al., 2000) or asexuality (Yule et al., 2014). Moreover, non-right-handedness has been linked to alcohol consumption (Denny, 2011) and a plethora of other psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (Boscarino & Hoffman, 2007), depression (Denny, 2009), or anorexia nervosa (Tenconi et al., 2010), to name a few. Lower IQ, lower fraternal birth order, neuropsychiatric abnormalities, non-right-handedness, and lower D2/D4 length are also associated with sexual offending in general, non-sexual delinquency, thrill seeking proclivity, and aggressive traits (Bailey & Hurd, 2005;Bogaert, 2001;Brower & Price, 2001;Fink et al., 2006;Moffitt et al., 1994;Ogunfowokan et al., 2016). ...
Article
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The neurodevelopmental theory of pedohebephilia states that sexual interests in children arise from early neurodevelopmental perturbations, as, for example, evidenced by increased non-right-handedness, more childhood head injuries, and reduced intelligence and height. As corroborating evidence largely rests on samples of convicted men, we conducted online surveys among German-speaking (Study 1, N = 199) and English-speaking men (Study 2, N = 632), specifically targeting community members with pedohebephilic or teleiophilic interests. Although we detected theoretically meaningful sexual interest patterns in an embedded viewing time task, we could not detect expected neurodevelopmental differences between teleiophilic and pedohebephilic men in either of the two studies. Strikingly, pedohebephilic men who reported convictions for sexual offenses emerged as shorter and less intelligent than pedohebephilic men without convictions in Study 2. While elucidating possible third variable confounds, results have to be interpreted cautiously because of the methodological problems inherent to non-matched case control designs.
... Moreover, depression (Denny, 2009) and schizophrenia (Sommer et al., 2001) have been linked to handedness, with a significantly higher frequency of non-right-handers in patients than in healthy control groups. In addition, medically relevant variables like alcohol consumption (Denny, 2011) or breast cancer risk (Olsson and Ingvar, 1991) have been shown to be related to handedness. Despite this broad interest in the topic and its high relevance for clinical research, surprisingly little is known about the molecular and neural basis of human handedness. ...
... Cerebral lateralization is also a biomarker for prenatal androgen load (Cohen-Bendahan et al. 2005;Geschwind and Galaburda 1985;Witelson 1985), and its proxy handedness has been repeatedly linked to substance use and addictive behavior. Denny showed that left-handers drink more alcohol than do right-handers (Denny 2011), and many studies consistently demonstrate that alcohol-addicted patients are more often left-handed than are healthy persons (Harburg 1981;London et al. 1985;McNamara et al. 1994;Nasrallah et al. 1983;Sperling et al. 2000Sperling et al. , 2010. Moreover, Preti et al. (2012) reported that lefthanders experiment more often with heroin, ecstasy and hallucinogens than non-left-handers. ...
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The internet age bears new challenges that include health risks. It is agreed that excessive internet use may reach pathological levels. However, the concept of internet addiction lacks specificity and, therefore, warrants studies on its diagnostic and etiologic classification. This study was conducted to characterize the novel DSM-5 criteria for internet gaming disorder and the adapted criteria for the “social network disorder”. Based on the established association of handedness and substance use disorders, we also explored whether internet use related to laterality. For this study, 3,287 volunteers participated in the online survey and gave particulars concerning their internet use in general, internet gaming and use of social networks, laterality markers (hand, foot, eye, ear, rotational preference in gymnastics, and head turning asymmetry) and health status. Of the participants, 1.1 % fulfilled the criteria for internet gaming disorder, and 1.8 % fulfilled the criteria for social network disorder. The applied criteria were highly correlated with the time spent on the respective internet activities (p −56). The analyses of comorbidity and working hours support the thresholds of 5/9 criteria and ≥30 h/week spent on the internet for the classification as pathological (p −2). Moreover, we found that left-handedness related to more affirmed criteria and longer times spent on social networks (p ≤ 4 × 10−2). The provided criteria proved to be user-friendly, comprehensible and well accepted. The results contribute to a better understanding of pathological internet gaming and social network use and provide evidence that biological markers of substance use disorders are involved in internet addiction.
... In a recent study, it is shown that there is an association between left-handedness and frequency of alcohol consumption and left-handers do drink more often. 7 Also, in various studies, increased frequency of left-handedness has been shown in alcoholics. 29 London et al. 15 reported that left-handedness was more frequent in men with alcoholic fathers and in first-born men. ...
... Left-handedness or reduced right-handedness are linked also to some traits with clinical relevance such as depression (Denny, 2009), schizophrenia (Sommer et al., 2001;Dragovic and Hammond, 2005), higher (but nor pathological) alcohol consumption (Denny, 2011), immune response (Stoyanov et al., 2011), while a reduced right-handedness and inconsistent laterality can accompany specific pathological phenotypes (Carlier et al., 2006;Gérard-Desplanches et al., 2007). Interestingly the association between forelimb asymmetries and modulation of immune response has been found in different species: left-pawded mice show higher phytohemagglutinin-and concanavalin-induced proliferation (Neveu et al., 1988). ...
Article
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Functional preferences in the use of right/left forelimbs are not exclusively present in humans but have been widely documented in a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species. A matter of debate is whether non-human species exhibit a degree and consistency of functional forelimb asymmetries comparable to human handedness. The comparison is made difficult by the variability in hand use in humans and the few comparable studies conducted on other species. In spite of this, interesting continuities appear in functions such as feeding, object manipulation and communicative gestures. Studies on invertebrates show how widespread forelimb preferences are among animals, and the importance of experience for the development of forelimb asymmetries. Vertebrate species have been extensively investigated to clarify the origins of forelimb functional asymmetries: comparative evidence shows that selective pressures for different functions have likely driven the evolution of human handedness. Evidence of a complex genetic architecture of human handedness is in line with the idea of multiple evolutionary origins of this trait.
... These characteristics are easily measurable peripheral markers of cerebral lateralization (Bourne, 2005;Bourne and Gray, 2009;Coulson and Lovett, 2004;Knecht et al., 2000;Proverbio et al., 2006). An abnormal cerebral dominance is linked to several mental disorders, including schizophrenia (Crow, 1997;Klar, 1999;Satz and Green, 1999), autism (Cornish and McManus, 1996;Hauck and Dewey, 2001), depression (Denny, 2009;Hecht, 2010), anxiety, and alcohol dependence (Denny, 2011;Harburg, 1981;London et al., 1985;McNamara et al., 1994;Nasrallah et al., 1983;Sperling et al., 2000Sperling et al., , 2010), suggesting a common pathophysiological mechanism. ...
Article
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There are well-known sex differences in the epidemiology and etiopathology of alcohol dependence. Male gender is a crucial risk factor for the onset of alcohol addiction. A directly modifying role of testosterone in alcohol addiction-related behavior is well established. Sex hormones exert both permanent (organizational) and transient (activational) effects on the human brain. The sensitive period for these effects lasts throughout life. In this article, we present a novel early sex hormone activity model of alcohol addiction. We propose that early exposure to sex hormones triggers structural (organizational) neuroadaptations. These neuroadaptations affect cellular and behavioral responses to adult sex hormones, sensitize the brain's reward system to the reinforcing properties of alcohol and modulate alcohol addictive behavior later in life. This review outlines clinical findings related to the early sex hormone activity model of alcohol addiction (handedness, the second-to-fourth-finger length ratio, and the androgen receptor and aromatase) and includes clinical and preclinical literature regarding the activational effects of sex hormones in alcohol drinking behavior. Furthermore, we discuss the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and -gonadal axes and the opioid system in mediating the relationship between sex hormone activity and alcohol dependence. We conclude that a combination of exposure to sex hormones in utero and during early development contributes to the risk of alcohol addiction later in life. The early sex hormone activity model of alcohol addiction may prove to be a valuable tool in the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.
... Different forms of addiction have been associated with atypical lateralization and non-right-handedness. Left-handedness has been linked to alcohol (Denny, 2011;Mandal et al., 2000;Sperling et al., 2000) and drug addiction (Yüksel et al., 2012). These results are consistent with the finding that left-handers exhibit greater brain activity in response to drugs affecting the central nervous system, i.e. antipsychotics, sedatives and hypnotics (Irwin, 1985). ...
Article
Hemispheric asymmetries represent one of the major organizational principles in vertebrate neurobiology, but their molecular determinants are not well understood. For handedness, the most widely investigated form of hemispheric asymmetries in humans, single gene explanations have been the most popular ontogenetic model in the past. However, molecular genetic studies revealed only few specific genes that explain a small fraction of the phenotypic variance. In contrast, family studies indicated heritability of up to 0.66. It has been suggested that the lack of recognizable genetic heritability is partly accounted for by heritable epigenetic mechanisms. Based on recent neuroscientific findings highlighting the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for brain function and disease, we review recent findings describing non-genetic influences on handedness from conception to childhood. We aim to advance the idea that epigenetic regulation might be the mediating mechanism between environment and phenotype. Recent findings on molecular epigenetic mechanisms indicate that particular asymmetries in DNA methylation might affect asymmetric gene expression in the central nervous system that in turn mediates handedness. We propose that an integration of genes and environment is essential to fully comprehend the ontogenesis of handedness and other hemispheric asymmetries.
... In an epigenome-wide DNA methylation study comparing alcohol dependent and control subjects, hypomethylation of CpG sites within DBH was associated alcohol dependence 48 . Alcoholism has also been linked to the development of hemispheric asymmetries as alcohol dependent patients seem to be more often non-right-handed than controls 49,50 . Moreover, alcoholism was associated to impairment of right hemisphere function in cued detection 51 and visuospatial tasks 52,53 . ...
Article
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Handedness and language lateralization are the most investigated phenotypes among functional hemispheric asymmetries, i.e. differences in function between the left and the right half of the human brain. Both phenotypes are left hemisphere-dominant, while investigations of the molecular factors underlying right hemisphere-dominant phenotypes are less prominent. In the classical line bisection task, healthy subjects typically show a leftward attentional bias due to a relative dominance of the right hemisphere for visuospatial attention. Based on findings of variations in dopamine-related genes affecting performance in the line bisection task, we first tested whether DNA methylation in non-neuronal tissue in the promoter regions of DBH, SLC6A3, and DRD2 are associated with line bisection deviation. We replicated the typical behavioral pattern and found an effect of DNA methylation in the DBH promoter region on line bisection deviation in right-aligned trials. A second exploratory analysis indicated that an overall DNA methylation profile of genes involved in dopamine function predicts line bisection performance in right-aligned trials. Genetic variation in dopamine-related genes has been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental trait associated with rightward attentional bias. Overall, our findings point towards epigenetic markers for functional hemispheric asymmetries in non-neuronal tissue not only for left hemisphere-dominant, but also for right hemisphere-dominant phenotypes.
... Deviating patterns of lateralization have also been reported for substance use and substance use disorders. Non-right-handedness has been linked to the amount (Harburg, 1981) and the frequency of alcohol consumption (Denny, 2011) and to alcohol dependence (Mandal et al., 2000;McNamara et al., 1994;Sperling et al., 2000Sperling et al., , 2010. Additionally, higher rates of left-eyedness in subjects with heroin, nicotine, and alcohol addictions (Giotakos, 2002;Y€ uksel et al., 2012) and increased frequency of crossed eye/ hand laterality in alcohol-dependent patients compared with control subjects have been reported (Y€ uksel et al., 2012). ...
Article
Background Available predictors of hospital readmission following withdrawal in alcohol‐dependent patients are limited. However, such parameters are needed to optimize individualized treatment strategies. This study investigated whether crossed eye/hand laterality, eyedness, and handedness may predict outcomes in alcohol dependence. Method The prospective study included 200 early‐abstinent alcohol‐dependent in‐patients (n[males] = 113, n[females] = 87) and 240 control subjects (n[males] = 133, n[females] = 107). We assessed eyedness and handedness using the hole‐in‐the‐card and Shimizu tests and documented alcohol‐related readmissions over 12 and 24 months. Results Crossed eye/hand laterality and left‐eyedness were associated with a reduced risk for alcohol‐related readmission (12‐month: OR = 0.41, P = 0.008, OR = 0.42, P = 0.004; 24‐month: OR = 0.57, P = 0.097, OR = 0.47, P = 0.016), fewer median readmissions (12‐month: 0 vs. 1, P = 0.005, 0 vs. 1, P = 0.005; 24‐month: 1 vs. 2, P = 0.014, 1 vs. 2, P = 0.006), and more mean days to the first readmission (12‐month: 270 vs. 209, P = 0.007, 269 vs. 207, P = 0.003; 24‐month: 462 vs. 335, P = 0.039, 461 vs. 323, P = 0.005). They also interacted with treatment and alcohol drinking history to predict the outcome. In sex‐specific analyses, most of these effects remained significant in males but not in females. Handedness alone did not significantly predict outcome. Moreover, the laterality markers did not significantly differ between alcohol‐dependent patients and control subjects. Conclusion Determining crossed eye/hand laterality and eyedness may help to individualize relapse prevention in the future. Both are easily accessible predictors of alcohol‐related readmission following in‐patient withdrawal treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Additionally, some neurodevelopmental markers discussed as being specific for pedophilia, such as increased rates of left handedness/ambidexterity, have also been found among men with non-heterosexual orientation (Lalumière et al., 2000), or asexuality (Yule et al., 2014). Moreover, non-right handedness has been linked to alcohol consumption (Denny, 2011) and a plethora of other psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (Boscarino & Hoffman, 2007), depression (Denny, 2009), or anorexia nervosa (Tenconi et al., 2010), to name a few. Lower IQ, lower fraternal birth order, neuropsychiatric abnormalities, non-righthandedness, and lower D2/D4 length are also associated with sexual offending in general, nonsexual delinquency, thrill seeking proclivity, and aggressive traits (Bailey & Hurd, 2005;Bogaert, 2001;Brower & Price, 2001;Fink et al., 2006;Moffitt et al., 1994;Ogunfowokan et al., 2016). ...
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The neurodevelopmental theory of pedohebephilia states that sexual interests in children arise from early neurodevelopmental perturbations, as, for example, evidenced by increased non-right-handedness, more childhood head injuries, and reduced intelligence and height. As corroborating evidence largely rests on samples of convicted men, we conducted online surveys among German-speaking (Study 1, N = 199) and English-speaking men (Study 2, N = 632), specifically targeting community members with pedohebephilic or teleiophilic interests. Although we detected theoretically meaningful sexual interest patterns in an embedded viewing time task, we could not detect expected neurodevelopmental differences between teleiophilic and pedohebephilic men in any of the two studies. Strikingly, pedohebephilic men who reported convictions for sexual offences emerged as smaller and less intelligent than pedohebephilic men without convictions in Study 2. While elucidating possible third variable confounds, results have to be interpreted cautiously because of the methodological problems inherent to non-matched case control designs.
Article
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Objective: In the present study, the distributions of handedness and footedness, their relationships and sex-related differences were investigated in a large young healthy Turkish population. Method: Subjects were 5774 men and 3639 women students graduated from high school in different cities of Turkey. Handedness was ascertained by using the Edinburgh Handedness Scale. For footedness, foot used kick a ball to hit a target was accepted as dominant foot. Results: Percentages of left-handedness and footedness were 3.1 % and 11.9, respectively. Men were more left-handed and left-footed compared to women. The relationships between handedness and footedness and footedness and bouncing were also significant. The stronger association between footedness and single leg vertical jumping (SLVJ) suggests that the SLVJ can be used as foot preference test. Also, the incidence of crossed hand-foot dominance was higher in right-handed subjects than in left-handed ones. Conclusion: This suggests the shifting from left to right in hand preference associated with social pressure and but the stability in foot preference. Therefore, the footedness may be better index compared to handedness for cerebral lateralization.
Article
There has been a long-running debate speculating the differences between lefthanded and right-handed people in terms of their Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and cognitive capabilities. There is indeed an abundance of literature on correlation of cognitive abilities and handedness. On one hand there is strong evidence in favor of higher prevalence of left-handedness among patients such as those with mental retardation and dyslexia, and on the other there are historical records about left-handedness among famous gifted people such as, Michel Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci and enormous studies in literature indicating left-handedness as an advantage in cognitive capabilities. In this chapter we have tried to cover main aspects of this controversial issue which incorporates a large group of individuals in any population. Owing to the fact that huge number of people all around the world are left handed (5-10% of the population), it quickly becomes apparent why we should do more investigation about the causes and consequences of handedness that is still open to debate. We have considered "Handedness" as a physical marker related to "Laterality", and "Educational Achievement" as a neuropsychological marker related to "Cognition". We believe that not only psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and all the professionals who work on cognitive functions, but also policy makers in educational systems should be aware of the impact of handedness and its different aspects in the design of their evaluation and educational programs.
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The Annett Hand Preference Questionnaire (AHPQ) as modified by Briggs and Nebes was administered along with Carver and White's behavioural inhibition system (BIS) and behavioural activation system (BAS) scale and a shortened form of the Big Five personality questionnaire to 92 university students. After eliminating the data from five respondents who reported having changed handedness and one outlier, there was a significant sex difference in mean BIS scores, with females (n = 43) scoring higher than males (n = 43). Replicating the results of Wright, Hardie and Wilson, non-right-handers (n = 36) had significantly higher mean BIS score than right-handers (n = 50). Controlling for sex of participant, neuroticism and BAS sub-scale scores in hierarchical regression analyses left this BIS effect substantially unaffected. There was no handedness or sex difference on any of the three BAS sub-scales. Further analyses revealed no association between strength, as distinct from direction, of handedness and BIS (or BAS) scores. The findings are discussed with reference to recent developments in reinforcement sensitivity theory on which BIS/BAS variables are based.
Book
The Clinical Neuroscience of Lateralization gives the first comprehensive transdiagnostic overview of the evidence for changes in hemispheric asymmetries in different psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Taking a multidisciplinary perspective informed by both basic science and clinical studies, the authors integrate recent breakthroughs on hemispheric asymmetries in psychology, neuroscience, genetics and comparative research. They give a general introduction to hemispheric asymmetries and the techniques used to assess them, and review the evidence for changes in hemispheric asymmetries in different psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. The book also discusses neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis and highlights the importance of open science in clinical laterality research. Offering a fresh perspective on a longstanding issue in clinical neuroscience, this book will be of great interest for academics, researchers, and students in the fields of clinical and developmental neuroscience, biopsychology and neuropsychology. © 2021 Annakarina Mundorf and Sebastian Ocklenburg. All rights reserved.
Article
Left-handedness has long been associated with a range of negative attributes, including increased mental illness, criminal behaviour, and substance use. As previous reports have focussed on clinical and/or pathological samples, the present study drew on a large, representative, longitudinal study of Australians to assess the role of handedness in predicting mental illness, jail time, alcohol consumption, income, and gambling. The 15,376 respondents that had their handedness recorded in the 2016 wave of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia longitudinal survey were included in the current study and the person-years of the outcome variables were assessed via responses to previous waves of the annually administered survey. Contrary to previous research we found little evidence of handedness-related effects. Though left-handers reported more risky drinking occasions (4.11 person-years) than right-handers (3.23 person-years), and more high-risk drinking occasions (0.65 vs 0.37 person years), handedness did not predict alcohol consumption or any of the other factors in regression models that controlled for age and sex. As such, the negative factors found in clinical/pathological samples of left-handers were not evident in these general Australian population data. The role of stigma in increasing the likelihood of participating in the outcomes of interest in the past is discussed.
Article
Handedness has been linked to an enhanced risk of alcohol abuse, while less is known about other drugs. A convenience sample of 1004 male and female Italian participants (females=58%) from the general community (18 to 65 years old: average age = 30; standard deviation = 10, median = 25) was asked about: handedness (preference in writing); lifetime use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs; levels of psychological distress, as measured by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ); and levels of delusion proneness, as measured by the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI). Overall, 92 individuals (9.2%) were classified as left-handed, with no significant difference reported among genders. Lifetime use of illicit drugs, primarily cannabis, was reported by 20% of the sample. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, after taking into account sex, age, and caseness on GHQ and PDI, left-handed people in the sample were statistically more likely to report lifetime experimentation with heroin, ecstasy/amphetamine, and, marginally, hallucinogens, but not alcohol or tobacco. Different mechanisms might contribute to an explanation of greater lifetime experimentation with some illicit drugs among left-handed people as compared to right-handed people. However, replications with clinical samples are necessary before any definitive statements can be made.
Chapter
The published literature connecting left-handedness to an array of physical and psychological disorders spans nearly 150 years of research. Various theories attempt to explain why left-handedness is linked to pathology and these provide the guidance for the large numbers of studies in this area. The literature is riddled with inconsistent findings concerning a link between left-handedness and physical or psychological ill health. A more reliable association is between atypical handedness patterns, such as ambiguous handedness, and various clinical conditions. Ambiguous handedness is a situation where an individual uses either the right or the left hand at different times to perform the same activity. The typical form of mixed-handedness observed in nonclinical groups is a change of hand use across activities rather than within an activity. Two basic research paradigms have dominated the exploration of a link between left-handedness and pathology. Each paradigm has its inherent methodological problems and these most likely explain the chronic inconsistencies in the research literature. Researchers are moving toward new and more direct ways of investigating the relationship between handedness types and clinical disorders by using neural imaging techniques and genome scans.
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In the current controversy over left-handedness as a marker for various pathological conditions, a number of published studies have failed to replicate associations between handedness and various risk factors reported by other investigators. This paper demonstrates that many of these studies have simply lacked the statistical power to do so. As demonstrated here, the problem usually consists of inadequate sample sizes for the conditions. For example, given a sample of 1,000 subjects and a true rate of pathology of 10% in right-handers, even if left-handers have a 50% higher risk (true rate of pathology, 15%) the statistical power is only.3. This means that this difference would not reach statistical significance at p < .05 in 70% of the studies with a sample of this size! A figure allowing estimation of statistical power under typical conditions associated with handedness research is provided.
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Ageing is one of the greatest social and economic challenges of the 21st century in Europe. SHARE, a EU-sponsored project that will build up a Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, will be a fundamental resource for science and public policy to help mastering this unprecedented challenge. The main aim of SHARE is to create a pan-European interdisciplinary panel data set covering persons aged 50 and over. The project brings together many disciplines, including epidemiology, sociology, statistics, psychology, demography, and economics. Scientists from some 15 countries work on feasibility studies, experiments, and instrument development, culminating in a survey of about 22.000 individuals. The multidisciplinary nature of the data will provide new insights in the complex interactions between economic, health, psychological and social factors determining the quality of life of the elderly.
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There is a considerable body of research arguing for an association between psychotic disorders and atypical brain lateralisation--where non-right-handedness is usually taken as a marker for the latter. By contrast, there has been less attention given to a possible link between handedness and affective disorders (particularly major depression) and, unlike the case of psychosis, there is no a priori reason for such a link. There are very few studies of the relationship between depression and handedness in normal populations. This paper uses a new large population survey from 12 European countries to measure the association between handedness and depression. It is found that, using three different measures, left-handers are significantly more likely to have depressive symptoms than right-handers. For example left-handers are about 5% more likely to have reported having ever experienced symptoms of depression compared to about 27% of the total sample.
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Life span studies have shown that the population percentage of left-handers diminishes steadily, so that they are drastically underrepresented in the oldest age groups. Data are reviewed that indicate that this population trend is due to the reduced longevity of left-handers. Some of the elevated risk for sinistrals is apparently due to environmental factors that elevate their accident susceptibility. Further evidence suggests that left-handedness may be a marker for birth stress related neuropathy, developmental delays and irregularities, and deficiencies in the immune system due to the intrauterine hormonal environment. Some statistical and physiological factors that may cause left-handedness to be selectively associated with earlier mortality are also presented.
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A systematic increase with age of the strong right-handers/mixed right-handers ratio, in normal adults, was found in Algeria, Greece, Italy, France and Spain. This age effect on adult handedness is not easily explained by variations in the social pressure against left-hand use, differential mortality, or information bias. There was no systematic decrease in the frequency of left-handedness with age. Left-hand writing among left-handers was common in the youngest age group and rare after 40 years of age.
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The children in the cohort followed by the National Child Development Study were tested for cognitive ability at the age of eleven, and the influence of a number of biological and social variables was sought on the results of tests of reading, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal abilities. Reading relates strongly to social class, birth order and parental age, suggesting strong social influences upon it, but it is also related to height and acquired myopia, suggesting biological influences. Mathematics ability relates to social class and parental age, but not to birth order, but its relationship with height, birthweight and maternal smoking suggests biological effects. Verbal ability and non-verbal ability have relatively few correlates apart from sex and region. It appears that different cognitive abilities show different relationships to social, biological and personal variables.
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In an 11-country European collaboration, 14 population-based surveys included 21,724 subjects aged > or = 65 years. Most participating centres used the Geriatric Mental State (GMS), but other measures were also used. To derive from these instruments a common depression symptoms scale, the EURO-D, to allow comparison of risk factor profiles between centres. Common items were identified from the instruments. Algorithms for fitting items to GMS were derived by observation of item correspondence or expert opinion. The resulting 12-item scale was checked for internal consistency, criterion validity and uniformity of factor-analytic profile. The EURO-D is internally consistent, capturing the essence of its parent instrument. A two-factor solution seemed appropriate: depression, tearfulness and wishing to die loaded on the first factor (affective suffering), and loss of interest, poor concentration and lack of enjoyment on the second (motivation). The EURO-D scale should permit valid comparison of risk-factor associations between centres, even if between-centre variation remains difficult to attribute.
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This study evaluated the relationship between alcohol-related problems and 3 indexes of risky drinking in college student drinkers: number of drinks consumed per week, frequency of binge drinking, and estimated blood alcohol levels (BALs). Use of 2 independent samples (N1 = 204, N2 = 181) allowed a cross-validation of obtained associations. Results indicated that neither binge drinking frequency nor BAL were more highly related to alcohol-related problems than was weekly drinking. Furthermore, BAL did not provide unique explanatory power in accounting for alcohol-related problems; mixed results were obtained regarding the relationship of binge drinking estimates with problems.
Chapter
Alcoholism is generally regarded as one of the most serious public health problems. This chapter reviews the evidence that links left-handedness and cerebral laterality to alcoholism. This association includes an increased frequency of left-handedness in alcoholic men—which is associated with a less favorable treatment outcome—with an alcoholic father and with the more serious type 2 (male-limited) form of alcoholism. Also, several factors associated with alcoholism or with being at an increased risk of developing alcoholism are related to left-handedness or left-hemisphere dysfunction. In addition, alcoholism is associated with the phenomena that are linked to left-handedness, such as atypical season of birth patterns, season sensitivity as an adult, and thyroid disorder. The association of left-handedness and alcoholism suggests that the current strategy of comparing, for example, the sons of alcoholic fathers with the sons of non-alcoholic fathers might not control for handedness or for patterns of cerebral laterality. The Geschwind theory that prenatal sex hormones, particularly testosterone, affect the development of left-handedness states that one form of alcoholism might also be the result of these prenatal events and that prenatal environmental factors such as season of conception, birth order, and the spacing of children could affect the development of alcoholism as an adult. Thus, alcoholism might be a special case of more general biological principles involving cerebral laterality and handedness.
Article
In this article, we analyze the omitted variable bias problem in the multinomial logistic probability model. Sufficient, as well as necessary, conditions under which the omitted variable will not create asymptotically biased coefficient estimates for the included variables are derived. Conditional on the response variable, if the omitted explanatory and the included explanatory variable are independent, the bias will not occur. Bias will occur if the omitted relevant variable is independent with the included explanatory variable. The coefficient of the included variable plays an important role in the direction of the bias.
Article
Increasingly we are coming to understand that left-handedness has social, educational, and psychological implications and affects many aspects of health, well-being, and even life span. This book focuses on all that distinguishes right- and left-handers. It demonstrates that handedness is only one part of sidedness, which also includes footedness, eyedness, and earedness, and shows readers how to measure their own sidedness. The book answers some common questions such as: Where does handedness come from? Is it coded in the genes? Does it stem from social pressure? Might it indicate some damage or injury? Is it related to the organization of the brain, and how? Further, the book examines the differences between left- and right-handers in terms of intelligence, personality, creativity, and a number of other domains. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Investigated 136 alcoholic males and 48 alcoholic females admitted consecutively to an adult alcohol and substance abuse unit to replicate previous reports of an association between alcoholism and handedness. Left-handedness was more frequent in males with alcoholic fathers and in firstborn males. These data are discussed in the context of a recent theory relating left-handedness, immune disease, developmental learning disorders, and fetal testosterone. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Previous research has indicated that there is an increased incidence of left-handedness in samples of depressed individuals. We administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to a sample of 541 undergraduate students. Left-handed males showed significant elevation of BDI scores. It is unlikely that this result is due to decreased right hemisphere activity or sex-role conflicts. However, one possibility is that known differences in male steroid hormones levels between right- and left-handers contributed to this effect.
Article
Four indexes of laterality: handedness, footedness, eyedness, and earedness, were assessed in a sample of 1274 subjects. Left- and right-sided groups were compared on two aspects of self-reported sleep difficulty: trouble falling asleep and frequent night wakenings. The incidence of sleep difficulty was found to be elevated in the left-sided groups. The results are discussed in terms of a possible complex of behavioral deviations from the statistical norm, called the alinormal syndrome.
Article
The distribution of handedness, as shown by questionnaire, was considered in relation to age in 800 adult psychiatric patients and 800 controls. In both groups, increasing age was associated with a significant shift toward dextrality. The percentage of left-handed writers was lowest in the highest age groups. Greater tolerance of sinistrality may not be the only factor to account for these findings.RésuméOn a considéré la distribution de la préférence manuelle telle que révélée par un questionnaire, dans sa relation avec l'âge chez 800 malades psychiatriques adultes et chez 800 sujets de contrôle. Dans les 2 groupes, l'augmentation de l'âge était associée avec un déplacement significatif vers la préférence manuelle droite. Le pourcentage des sujets écrivant avec la main gauche était le plus bas dans les groupes d'âges les plus élevés. Une plus grande tolérance pour la gaucherie peut ne pas être le seul facteur qui rende compte de ces constatations.ZusammenfassungAnhand von Fragebogen wurde die Händigkeitsverteilung im Hinblick auf das Lebensalter bei 800 erwachsenen psychiatrischen Kranken und 800 Kontrollpersonen untersucht. In beiden Gruppen war das fortschreitende Alter mit einer signifikanten Zunahme an Rechtshändigkeit gekoppelt. Die Prozentzahl an linkshändigen Schreibern war in derhöchsten Altersgruppe am niedrigsten. Eine gröβere Toleranz der Linkshändigkeit gegenüber schien nicht der einzige Faktor zu sein, der zu diesen Ergebnissen führte.
Article
The performance of right-handed students on a visual search task suggests that moderate doses of alcohol have a greater effect on right- than left-hemisphere neuropsychological functions.
Article
Left-handedness occurs in about 8% of the human population. It runs in families and an adoption study suggests a genetic rather than an environmental origin; however, monozygotic twins show substantial discordance. The only genetic models that successfully explain the family and twin data are those of McManus and Annett, which share the feature of incorporating a random component reflecting the biological phenomenon of 'fluctuating asymmetry'. The models have each been modified to explain the greater incidence of left-handedness in males. The McManus model is more successful at explaining the maternal effect--left-handed mothers have more left-handed offspring than do left-handed fathers. Both models explain the association of handedness with cerebral language dominance. The models differ principally in their conception of the phenotypes of handedness: Annett proposes a unimodal continuum, McManus proposes two discrete categories of handedness. Finding the gene for handedness and hence for language dominance would unlock the neurobiology of language. Two ways of finding the gene for handedness are proposed: searching the pseudoautosomal region of the X chromosome or invoking a specific evolutionary model of lateralization in which the handedness gene has evolved from the situs gene then searching the human genome for homologues to the mouse situs gene.
Article
One hundred thirty-six alcoholic men and 48 alcoholic women admitted consecutively to an adult alcohol and substance abuse unit were studied in an attempt to replicate previous reports of an association between alcoholism and handedness. Each individual received a structured admission interview, and handedness was determined by a modification of the Edinburgh Inventory. Left-handedness was more frequent in men with alcoholic fathers and in first-born men. These data are discussed in the context of a recent theory relating left-handedness, immune disease, developmental learning disorders, and fetal testosterone.
Article
IN spite of much speculation on the matter, the aetiology of left-handedness remains elusive. Investigators have considered heredity, neurological pathology, imitation and negative personality, but the evidence in support of any particular hypothesis is inconclusive. There are, however, some suggestive facts. The frequency of left-handedness is greater in males and in twin births, both of which are also associated with greater birth and infant mortality and, in the case of males, a higher rate of spontaneous abortion. The pre-natal and peri-natal periods seem to be more stressful for these groups. Left-handedness is also associated with language disorders such as stuttering, dyslexia, and mental retardation, conditions where central nervous system pathology may be implicated1. This suggests that the incidence of left-handedness might be correlated with stressful pre-natal and birth conditions. Such difficulties are most characteristic of primiparous births (longer labour and more use of instruments) and births to older mothers. Thus high risk birth orders would be the first born and the late-born (defined here as fourth or later birth).
Article
The need for a simply applied quantitative assessment of handedness is discussed and some previous forms reviewed. An inventory of 20 items with a set of instructions and response- and computational-conventions is proposed and the results obtained from a young adult population numbering some 1100 individuals are reported. The separate items are examined from the point of view of sex, cultural and socio-economic factors which might appertain to them and also of their inter-relationship to each other and to the measure computed from them all. Criteria derived from these considerations are then applied to eliminate 10 of the original 20 items and the results recomputed to provide frequency-distribution and cumulative frequency functions and a revised item-analysis. The difference of incidence of handedness between the sexes is discussed.
Article
The authors report here a controlled study of hand, foot, and eye dominance in alcoholic males to measure the frequency of sensory-motor laterality shift in alcoholism.
Article
This work showed that more sinestrals both smoke and drink together more and abstain less in both uses than dextrals. This association is stronger for females than men, regardless of age. The sample included whites, 18 to 69 yr. old, who were residents of Tecumseh, Michigan (N = 1,153).
Article
Through selective breeding, rat lines exhibiting high and low alcohol drinking preference have been developed as useful animal models for studying the neurobiological basis of alcohol-seeking behavior. The identified differences between lines in neurotransmitter functioning allows the evaluation of receptor agonist/antagonist compounds that might be efficacious in the treatment of alcohol craving and dependence.
Article
We assessed markers of anomalous cerebral dominance in 70 problem drinkers at risk for alcoholism, 43 alcoholics who had been sober for at least six months, and 311 healthy control subjects age-matched to the problem drinkers. Markers of anomalous cerebral dominance included left-handedness, learning disabilities, neuro-immune disorders, and special cognitive talents. We also administered a "drinking inventory" to assess frequency and severity of drinking patterns for self and family. Analysis showed elevated rates of left-handedness and learning disabilities in the alcoholic group and in the "at risk" problem drinkers. These same subjects rated themselves and their families as relatively poor at left-hemisphere-mediated cognitive talents. Alcoholic women evidenced significantly greater incidence of immune disorders than alcoholic men. Alcoholism appears to be related to biological factors which have been associated with anomalous cerebral dominance.
Article
We examined mortality associated with handedness in two ways. A simulation using national data suggests that lower mean age at death among left-handed persons, previously offered as evidence of higher mortality, can be explained exclusively by the age distribution of laterality. Second, empiric evidence from a 6-year cohort study of 3774 older adults from East Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrates that left-handedness is not associated with mortality (relative odds = 1.04, 95% confidence interval = 0.79, 1.36).
Article
Schizophrenic illnesses occur with approximately the same incidence in all human populations with a characteristic distribution (slightly earlier in males) of ages of onset. Given that the predisposition (which presumably is genetic) is associated with a procreative disadvantage why do such illnesses persist? Here it is suggested that these conditions are a manifestation of genetic diversity in the evolution of the specifically human characteristic of language, an innovation that has occurred by a process of progressive hemispheric specialization-the establishment of dominance for some critical component of language in one or the other hemisphere. Individuals who develop schizophrenic symptoms show lesser anatomical and functional asymmetries than the population as a whole; such symptoms may reflect 'dominance failure' for language.
Article
There has been a long-standing debate to explain the complex correlation of development of human hand preference with brain lateralization, and occasionally, the correlation of both lateralizations with psychiatric disorders. A major unanswered question in this debate is whether nature (i.e., genetics) or nurture (environment/culture) controls the development of these attributes of human behavior. Simple genetic models have failed to satisfactorily explain the mode of inheritance of psychotic disorders as well as of the handedness trait. This paper advances several hypothetical and testable genetic models to explain the complex inheritance of these traits. In one model, brain lateralization is proposed to result from nonrandom segregation of the 'Watson' and 'Crick' strands of a particular chromosome, causing hemisphere lateralization, and that a gene, designated RGHT (for right), is further proposed to be responsible for the distribution of DNA chains to specific hemispheres. Accordingly, dominant, familially inherited schizophrenia and bipolar disorders are postulated to result from chromosomal rearrangements disrupting strand segregation, while sporadic cases are proposed to occur at increased frequencies in individuals with the recessive handedness genotype. Finally, discordance in monozygotic twins is suggested to occur due to developmental differences in brain lateralization in twins of the recessive genotype. Psychotic disorders are suggested to be due to developmental anomalies of cerebral asymmetry.
Article
Several possible risk factors for ICD-10 alcohol dependence were studied by comparing cases (117 men, 188 women) with controls (248 men, 300 women). Logistic regression analyses showed that parental alcohol problems and high trait anxiety were significantly related to high occurrence of alcohol dependence in both men and women. In women, high antisocial behaviour, high impulsivity, and high externality were also related to high occurrence of alcohol dependence. High facial flushing and high stimulation when intoxicated were related to low occurrence of alcohol dependence in both men and women. In men, this was also the case for high social support. Several interactions were observed. In contrast to earlier studies, there was no significant association between alcohol dependence and left-handedness.
Article
This note re-examines a finding by Crow et al. [Crow, T. J., Crow, L. R., Done, D. J., & Leask, S. (1998). Relative hand skill predicts academic ability: Global deficits at the point of hemispheric indecision. Neuropsychologia, 36(12), 1275-1281] that equal skill of right and left hands is associated with deficits in cognitive ability. This is consistent with the idea that failure to develop dominance of one hemisphere is associated with various pathologies such as learning difficulties. Using the same data source but utilising additional data, evidence is found of a more complex relationship between cognitive ability and relative hand skill.
Handedness and birth order doi:10 Left-handedness and alcoholism The survey of health
  • P Bakan
  • P Bakan
Bakan, P. (1971). Handedness and birth order. Nature, 229, 195. doi:10.1038/229195a0 Bakan, P. (1973). Left-handedness and alcoholism. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 36, 514 Boersch-Supan, A., & Juerges H. (2005). The survey of health, aging and retirement in Europe – methodology.
Handedness and birth order Left-handedness and alcoholism
  • P P Bakan
Bakan, P. (1971). Handedness and birth order. Nature, 229, 195. doi:10.1038/229195a0 Bakan, P. (1973). Left-handedness and alcoholism. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 36, 514
Markers of cerebral lateralization and alcoholism
  • P Mcnamara
  • D Blum
  • K O'quin
  • S Schacter
McNamara, P., Blum, D., O'Quin, K., & Schacter, S. (1994). Markers of cerebral lateralization and alcoholism. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 1435-1440.
Differential utility of three indexes of risky drinking for predicting alcohol problems in college students
  • Borsari