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Study: Brain makes call on which ear is used for cell phone
Date:5/16/2013

DETROIT 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 newly published study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The study to appear online in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery shows a strong correlation between brain dominance and the ear used to listen to a cell phone. More than 70% of participants held their cell phone up to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand, the study finds.

Left-brain dominant people who account for about 95% of the population and have their speech and language center located 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 reveals 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 part of the brain to sleep in order to map activity."

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

Since nearly 80% of people use the cell phone in their right ear, he says if there were a strong connection
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Contact: Krista Hopson
khopson1@hfhs.org
313-874-7207
Henry Ford Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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