Estimation of heritability for varied indexes of handedness

Yin Ju Lien, Wei J. Chen, Po Chang Hsiao, Hui Chun Tsuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Inconsistent results of the molecular studies for handedness have been reported. One of the key issues involved could be ways of assessing handedness. The current study aimed to identify the index of handedness better reveal the genetic component, which showed higher heritability. We measured handedness using the Annett's handedness questionnaire. The college students participating in this study filled the questionnaire in the class while their first-degree relatives returned questionnaires one to two weeks later. A total of 1,968 subjects returned their questionnaires, including 640 college students and 1,328 first-degree relatives. Among the 449 college students returning at least one handedness questionnaire for their parents, a total of 449 fathers, 440 mothers, and 425 siblings participated in the study. The index of mixed-handedness (e.g., Degree of Handedness) showed highest heritability (0.67), followed by the Hand Preference Index (0.52), and then the Direction of Handedness (0.39). Using an index of mixed-handedness for future molecular studies was suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-482
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 4


  • Cerebral lateralization
  • Handedness
  • Heritability
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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