Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Need Something? Talk To My Right Ear

Date:
June 23, 2009
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
New research demonstrates humans' right ear preference for listening. We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear and are more likely to perform a task when we receive the request in our right ear rather than our left. Scientists have shown that a natural side bias, depending on hemispheric asymmetry in the brain, manifests itself in everyday human behavior.

We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear.
Credit: iStockphoto/Artsem Martysiuk

We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear and are more likely to perform a task when we receive the request in our right ear rather than our left. In a series of three studies, looking at ear preference in communication between humans, Dr. Luca Tommasi and Daniele Marzoli from the University "Gabriele d'Annunzio" in Chieti, Italy, show that a natural side bias, depending on hemispheric asymmetry in the brain, manifests itself in everyday human behavior.

Related Articles


One of the best known asymmetries in humans is the right ear dominance for listening to verbal stimuli, which is believed to reflect the brain's left hemisphere superiority for processing verbal information. However, until now, the majority of studies looking at ear preference in human communication have been controlled laboratory studies and there is very little published observational evidence of spontaneous ear dominance in everyday human behavior.

Tommasi and Marzoli's three studies specifically observed ear preference during social interactions in noisy night club environments. In the first study, 286 clubbers were observed while they were talking, with loud music in the background. In total, 72 percent of interactions occurred on the right side of the listener. These results are consistent with the right ear preference found in both laboratory studies and questionnaires and they demonstrate that the side bias is spontaneously displayed outside the laboratory.

In the second study, the researchers approached 160 clubbers and mumbled an inaudible, meaningless utterance and waited for the subjects to turn their head and offer either their left of their right ear. They then asked them for a cigarette. Overall, 58 percent offered their right ear for listening and 42 percent their left. Only women showed a consistent right-ear preference. In this study, there was no link between the number of cigarettes obtained and the ear receiving the request.

In the third study, the researchers intentionally addressed 176 clubbers in either their right or their left ear when asking for a cigarette. They obtained significantly more cigarettes when they spoke to the clubbers' right ear compared with their left.

According to the authors, taken together, these results confirm a right ear/left hemisphere advantage for verbal communication and distinctive specialization of the two halves of the brain for approach and avoidance behavior.

They conclude: "Our studies corroborate the idea of a common ancestry - in humans and other species - of lateralized behavior during social interactions, not only for species-specific vocal communication, but also for affective responses."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marzoli et al. Side biases in humans (Homo sapiens): three ecological studies on hemispheric asymmetries. Naturwissenschaften, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s00114-009-0571-4

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Need Something? Talk To My Right Ear." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623090705.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2009, June 23). Need Something? Talk To My Right Ear. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623090705.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Need Something? Talk To My Right Ear." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623090705.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins