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Hand clasping, arm folding, and handedness: Relationships and strengths of preference

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We investigated via a survey the relationship between hand clasping, arm folding, and handedness. We aimed to provide new data on degree of preference for each of these lateralities. We also examined the relative importance of thumb position versus interdigitisation of the fingers in determining one's comfort in a hand-clasping position. We explored this in the context of the fact that sensory acuity is greater for the thumb than other fingers, suggesting that preference for how the fingers are intermeshed may be more influenced by thumb than finger position. Lastly we performed an exploratory analysis to determine if self-reported menstrual phase—known to influence turning bias—also influences hand clasping, arm folding or the strength of one's handedness. Our study suggests that lateral preferences for hand clasping, arm folding, and handedness are independent. However, the degrees of lateral preference for hand clasping and arm folding are correlated. Our exploration of the relative importance of thumbs versus fingers to hand clasping revealed some trends that were not statistically significant, but worth future exploration. Our data on menstrual phase showed a reduced strength of preference for arm folding in mid-luteal females versus non-mid-luteal females.
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Keywords: Arm folding; Hand clasping; Handedness; Menstrual phase; Strength of preference

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 2: Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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