Hemispheric Dominance and Cell Phone Use | Medical Devices and Equipment | JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.226.234.102. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
1.
Wada J, Rasmussen T. Intracarotid injection of sodium amytal for the lateralization of cerebral speech dominance: experimental and clinical observations.  J Neurosurg. 1960;17:266-282Google ScholarCrossref
2.
Binder JR, Swanson SJ, Hammeke TA,  et al.  Determination of language dominance using functional MRI: a comparison with the Wada test.  Neurology. 1996;46(4):978-9848780076PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Hunter KE, Blaxton TA, Bookheimer SY,  et al.  (15)O water positron emission tomography in language localization: a study comparing positron emission tomography visual and computerized region of interest analysis with the Wada test.  Ann Neurol. 1999;45(5):662-66510319891PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Bowyer SM, Moran JE, Weiland BJ,  et al.  Language laterality determined by MEG mapping with MR-FOCUSS.  Epilepsy Behav. 2005;6(2):235-24115710310PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Ramussen T, Milner B. Role of early left-brain injury in determining lateralization of cerebral speech functions.  Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1977;299:355-369Google ScholarCrossref
6.
Isaacs KL, Barr WB, Nelson PK, Devinsky O. Degree of handedness and cerebral dominance.  Neurology. 2006;66(12):1855-185816801650PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
7.
Pujol J, Deus J, Losilla JM, Capdevila A. Cerebral lateralization of language in normal left-handed people studied by functional MRI.  Neurology. 1999;52(5):1038-104310102425PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
8.
Knecht S, Dräger B, Deppe M,  et al.  Handedness and hemispheric language dominance in healthy humans.  Brain. 2000;123(pt 12):2512-251811099452PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
9.
Pointer JS. Sighting dominance, handedness, and visual acuity preference: three mutually exclusive modalities?  Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2001;21(2):117-12611261346PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
10.
Marzoli D, Tommasi L. Side biases in humans (Homo sapiens): three ecological studies on hemispheric asymmetries.  Naturwissenschaften. 2009;96(9):1099-110619543876PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
11.
Holder MK. Why are more people right-handed? Scientific American Inc.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-are-more-people-right. Posted August 18, 1997. Accessed April 8, 2013
12.
Oldfield RC. The assessment and analysis of handedness: the Edinburgh inventory.  Neuropsychologia. 1971;9(1):97-1135146491PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
13.
Petit L, Simon G, Joliot M,  et al.  Right hemisphere dominance for auditory attention and its modulation by eye position: an event related fMRI study.  Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2007;25(3-4):211-22517943000PubMedGoogle Scholar
Original Article
May 2013

Hemispheric Dominance and Cell Phone Use

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Seidman), Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York (Dr Siegel); and Departments of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Dr Shah) and Neurology (Dr Bowyer), Wayne State University, Detroit.

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(5):466-470. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.2889
Abstract

Importance A thorough understanding of why we hold a cell phone to a particular ear may be of importance when studying the impact of cell phone safety.

Objective To determine if there is an obvious association between sidedness of cell phone use and auditory hemispheric dominance (AHD) or language hemispheric dominance (LHD). It is known that 70% to 95% of the population are right-handed, and of these, 96% have left-brain LHD. We have observed that most people use their cell phones in their right ear.

Design An Internet survey was e-mailed to individuals through surveymonkey.com. The survey used a modified Edinburgh Handedness Inventory protocol. Sample questions surveyed which hand was used to write with, whether the right or left ear was used for phone conversations, as well as whether a brain tumor was present.

Setting General community.

Participants An Internet survey was randomly e-mailed to 5000 individuals selected from an otology online group, patients undergoing Wada testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging, as well as persons on the university listserv, of which 717 surveys were completed.

Main Outcome and Measure Determination of hemispheric dominance based on preferred ear for cell phone use.

Results A total of 717 surveys were returned. Ninety percent of the respondents were right handed, and 9% were left handed. Sixty-eight percent of the right-handed people used the cell phone in their right ear, 25% in the left ear, and 7% had no preference. Seventy-two of the left-handed respondents used their left ear, 23% used their right ear, and 5% had no preference. Cell phone use averaged 540 minutes per month over the past 9 years.

Conclusions and Relevance An association exists between hand dominance laterality of cell phone use (73%) and our ability to predict hemispheric dominance. Most right-handed people have left-brain LHD and use their cell phone in their right ear. Similarly, most left-handed people use their cell phone in their left ear. Our study suggests that AHD may differ from LHD owing to the difference in handedness and cell phone ear use. Literature suggests a possible relationship between cell phone use and cancer. The fact that few tumors were identified in this population does not rule out an association.

×