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Prevalence and heritability of handedness in a Chinese twin and singleton sample

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Author(s)

Mo Zheng, Catherine McBride, Connie Suk-Han Ho, Jonathan Ka-Chun Chan, Kwong Wai Choy, Silvia Paracchini

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Abstract

Left-Handedness prevalence has been consistently reported at around 10% with heritability estimates at around 25%. Lower prevalence has been reported in Asia, but it remains unclear whether this is due to biological or cultural factors. Higher left-handedness prevalence has been reported in males and in twins. Most studies are based on samples with European ethnicities and using the preferred hand for writing as the key assessment. Here, we investigated Chinese singletons (N=425) and twins (N = 205 pairs) using both the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory and Pegboard Task, the latter leading to a continuous measure of handedness (PegQ). We found a higher prevalence of non-right handedness (8%) than what was previously reported in Asian datasets and no evidence of increased left-handedness in twins. We also found some evidence that males have a higher tendency to be left-handed than females. Heritability was similar for both hand preference (21%) and PegQ (22%). However, these two handedness measures present only a moderate correlation (.42) and appear to be underpinned by different genetic factors. In summary, we report new reference data for an ethnic group usually underrepresented in the literature. Our heritability analysis supports the idea that different measures will capture different components of handedness and, as a consequence, comparisons of datasets assessed with heterogeneous criteria are not easily combined or compared.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalPsyArXiv
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • Handedness, Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, Pegboard, Chinese children, Twins

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