Cellphone use may reveal your dominant brain - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Cellphone use may reveal your dominant brain

Updated: May 17, 2013 10:00 AM EDT
© iStockphoto.com / Sean Locke © iStockphoto.com / Sean Locke
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Another Pa. school stabbing victim is improving

    Another Pa. school stabbing victim is improving

    MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A second critically-injured student from a mass stabbing at a Pittsburgh-area high school has been upgraded to fair condition.Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville said Friday that only one student there remains in critical condition and two are now in fair condition.Earlier Friday, another student was upgraded from critical to fair condition at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh.The student, identified by family and friends as 17-year-old Jared Boger, appeared...More >>
    MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A second critically-injured student from a mass stabbing at a Pittsburgh-area high school has been upgraded to fair condition.Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville said Friday that only one student there remains in critical condition and two are now in fair condition.Earlier Friday, another student was upgraded from critical to fair condition at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh.The student, identified by family and friends as 17-year-old Jared Boger, appeared...More >>
  • Boardman man charged with child rape

    Boardman man charged with child rape

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A Boardman man has been indicted by the Mahoning County Grand Jury. Quincy Henderson, 35, was charged Thursday with 11 counts, including rape, gross sexual imposition, and child endangering. HendersonMore >>
    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A Boardman man has been indicted by the Mahoning County Grand Jury. Quincy Henderson, 35, was charged Thursday with 11 counts, including rape, gross sexual imposition, and child endangering. HendersonMore >>
  • Trumbull County students experience effects of distracted driving first hand

    Trumbull County students experience effects of distracted driving first hand

    CHAMPION, Ohio - Students at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center experienced the effects of distracted driving first hand at the Act Out Loud rally hosted by the school.More >>
    CHAMPION, Ohio - Students at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center experienced the effects of distracted driving first hand at the Act Out Loud rally hosted by the school.More >>
By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests the dominant side of your brain may make the call on which ear you choose to use while talking on your cellphone.

The dominant side of your brain is where your speech and language center resides. Ninety-five percent of the human population is left-brain dominant, and those people tend to be right-handed. The opposite holds true for people who are right-brain dominant. In this study, scientists found that roughly 70 percent of those surveyed held their cellphone up to the ear that was on the same side as their dominant hand.

This insight into the way people use their cellphones could one day help doctors quickly and safely locate and protect a patient's language center before beginning a potentially risky brain operation, the researchers said.

"In essence, this could be used as a poor man's Wada test," said study author Dr. Michael Seidman, director of the division of otologic/neurotologic surgery at the Henry Ford Health System in West Bloomfield, Mich. "[The Wada test] is the standard test used today to determine exactly where a surgical patient's language center is located, which is critical information to have if you want to carefully preserve a person's language abilities.

"The Wada test is, however, invasive and risky," Seidman said. "But by looking at how a person uses their cellphone, which side they listen in to, you can get shorthand insight into brain dominance. It's not a foolproof guarantee, but I would say it's a pretty reliable and safe way of going about it."

Seidman and his colleagues reported their findings in the May issue of the journal JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

To explore how brain dominance may relate to cellphone handling, the authors sifted through more than 700 online surveys completed by people who were members of a web-based otology (hearing) discussion group, as well as those already undergoing Wada and MRI testing for various purposes.

Respondents were asked to give information regarding their cellphone habits, favored hand for executing various tasks (such as writing, throwing and cellphone handling) and any hearing-loss issues. Any history of brain, head or neck tumors also was noted.

Ninety percent of those polled were right-handed, and 68 percent used their right ear, 25 percent used their left ear and 7 percent used both ears.

The story was similar among the left-handed people: 72 percent used their left ear, 23 percent used their right ear and 5 percent used both ears.

The team concluded that there is an association between cellphone handling habits and brain dominance, with right-ear cellphone use typically indicating left-brain dominance, and vice versa.

"We're pretty confident in our results," Seidman said. "Basically, if your speech and language centers are in the left side of the brain -- which for most people they are -- a cellphone conversation is going to sound better in your right ear."

"The next question is if this information may help us figure out whether or not cellphone use is associated with cancer risk," he said.

On that front, Seidman suggested that, if there was such an association, there would be a much greater incidence of right-sided brain, head and neck cancer than currently is the case, given that nearly 80 percent of all people use their right ear to talk on their phones.

"But the question of cancer risk and cellphone use is very controversial," he said. "We just don't know yet. Much more work needs to be done."

Dr. Joe Verghese, a professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, suggested that it remains possible that other variables could influence the way people choose to handle their cellphones.

"This is certainly a very interesting study," Verghese said. "But it could also be that right-handed people, for example, simply reach for their cellphone with their dominant hand, and then naturally feel more comfortable continuing to keep it and use it on their right side because it would feel awkward to pick up a phone with your right hand and then switch it over to your left side.

"If that's the case, this could actually be about motor dominance more than auditory or language dominance," he said.

More information

For more on left- and right-brain dominance, visit the American Psychological Association.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:44:23 GMT
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
  • Bicyclist struck by deer while on ride in Pa.

    Bicyclist struck by deer while on ride in Pa.

    PITTSBURGH (AP) - A southwestern Pennsylvania man has broken vertebrae in his neck and back, nine broken ribs, a bruised lung and a concussion after a deer slammed into him while he was riding his bicycle.Sixty-five-year-old Allen Kinkead said it happened Sunday about 20 miles into a bicycle trip with five other people in Penn Township, Westmoreland County.A deer darted across the road, slammed into Kinkead and ran off. He doesn't remember the impact but his friends witnessed the whole thing....More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - A southwestern Pennsylvania man has broken vertebrae in his neck and back, nine broken ribs, a bruised lung and a concussion after a deer slammed into him while he was riding his bicycle.Sixty-five-year-old Allen Kinkead said it happened Sunday about 20 miles into a bicycle trip with five other people in Penn Township, Westmoreland County.A deer darted across the road, slammed into Kinkead and ran off. He doesn't remember the impact but his friends witnessed the whole thing....More >>
  • 76ers owner Harris calls 19-win season 'success'

    76ers owner Harris calls 19-win season 'success'

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris calls the 19-win season a success.Harris says he believes the Sixers successfully completed the first step of their painful rebuilding process. He says the Sixers need at least two to four elite players to become a contender again in the NBA.Harris has faith in general manager Sam Hinkie to make the right calls and he gave first-year coach Brett Brown an 'A' for his leadership under trying circumstances.He also thanked the fans for st...More >>
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris calls the 19-win season a success.Harris says he believes the Sixers successfully completed the first step of their painful rebuilding process. He says the Sixers need at least two to four elite players to become a contender again in the NBA.Harris has faith in general manager Sam Hinkie to make the right calls and he gave first-year coach Brett Brown an 'A' for his leadership under trying circumstances.He also thanked the fans for st...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms