Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain makes call on which ear is used for cell phone

Date:
February 21, 2012
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
A new study finds a strong correlation between brain dominance and the ear used to listen to a cell phone, with more than 70 percent of participants holding their cell phone up to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand.

If you're a left brain thinker, chances are you use your right hand to hold your cell phone up to your right ear.
Credit: Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia

If you're a left brain thinker, chances are you use your right hand to hold your cell phone up to your right ear, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The study finds a strong correlation between brain dominance and the ear used to listen to a cell phone, with more than 70 percent of participants holding their cell phone up to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand.

Left brain dominate people -- those whose speech and language center is on the left side of the brain -- are more likely to use their right hand for writing and other everyday tasks.

Likewise, the Henry Ford study shows most left brain dominant people also use the phone in their right ear, despite there being no perceived difference in their hearing in the left or right ear. And, right brain dominant people are more likely to use their left hand to hold the phone in their left ear.

"Our findings have several implications, especially for mapping the language center of the brain," says Michael Seidman, M.D., FACS, director of the division of otologic and neurotologic surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

"By establishing a correlation between cerebral dominance and sidedness of cell phone use, it may be possible to develop a less-invasive, lower-cost option to establish the side of the brain where speech and language occurs rather than the Wada test, a procedure that injects an anesthetic into the carotid artery to put half of the brain to sleep in order to map activity."

Dr. Seidman notes that the study also may offer additional evidence that cell phone use and brain, and head and neck tumors may not be linked.

If there was a strong connection, he says there would be a far more people diagnosed with cancer on the right side of their brain, head and neck -- the dominate side for cell phone use. But it's likely that there is a time and "dose-dependence" to the development of tumors, he notes.

Study results will be presented Feb. 26 in San Diego at the 25th Mid-Winter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

The study began with the simple observation that most people use their right hand to hold a cell phone to their right ear. This practice, Dr. Seidman says, is illogical since it is challenging to listen on the phone with the right ear and take notes with the right hand.

To determine if there is an association between sidedness of cell phone use and auditory or language hemispheric dominance, the Henry Ford team developed a online survey using modifications of the Edinburgh Handedness protocol, a tool used for more than 40 years to assess handedness and predict cerebral dominance.

The Henry Ford survey included questions about which hand was used for tasks such as writing; time spent talking on cell phone; whether the right or left ear is used to listen to phone conversations; and if respondents had been diagnosed with a brain or head and neck tumor.

It was distributed to 5,000 individuals who were either with an otology online group or a patient undergoing Wada and MRI for non-invasive localization purposes. More than 700 responded to the online survey.

On average, respondents' cell phone usage was 540 minutes per month.

The majority of respondents (90 percent) were right handed, 9 percent were left handed and 1 percent was ambidextrous.

Among those who are right handed, 68 percent reported that they hold the phone to their right ear, while 25 percent used the left ear and 7 percent used both right and left ears. For those who are left handed, 72 percent said they used their left ear for cell phone conversations, while 23 percent used their right ear and 5 percent had no preference.

The study also revealed that having a hearing difference can impact ear preference for cell phone use.

In all, the study found that there is a correlation between brain dominance and laterality of cell phone use, and there is a significantly higher probability of using the dominant hand side ear.

Funding: Henry Ford Hospital

Along with Dr. Seidman, study authors from Henry Ford are Bianca Siegel, M.D.; Priyanka Shah; and Susan M. Bowyer, Ph.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Brain makes call on which ear is used for cell phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221124713.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2012, February 21). Brain makes call on which ear is used for cell phone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221124713.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Brain makes call on which ear is used for cell phone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120221124713.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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