Human Handedness and Scalp Hair-Whorl Direction Develop From a Common Genetic Mechanism

Theories concerning the cause of right- or left-hand preference in humans vary from purely learned behavior, to solely genetics, to a combination of the two mechanisms. The cause of handedness and its relation to the biologically specified scalp hair-whorl rotation has also been determined. The general public, consisting of mostly right-handers (RH), shows counterclockwise whorl rotation infrequently in 8.4% of individuals. Interestingly, non-right-handers (NRH, i.e., left-handers and ambidextrous) display a random mixture of clockwise and counterclockwise swirling patterns. Confirming this finding, in another independent sample of individuals chosen because of their counterclockwise rotation, one-half of them are NRH.



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