Handedness in twins: joint analysis of data from 35 samples

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2006 Feb;9(1):46-53. doi: 10.1375/183242706776402885.


Simultaneous analysis of handedness data from 35 samples of twins (with a combined sample size of 21,127 twin pairs) found a small but significant additive genetic effect accounting for 25.47% of the variance (95% confidence interval [CI] 15.69-29.51%). No common environmental influences were detected (C = 0.00; 95% CI 0.00-7.67%), with the majority of the variance, 74.53%, explained by factors unique to the individual (95% CI 70.49-78.67%). No significant heterogeneity was observed within studies that used similar methods to assess handedness, or across studies that used different methods. At an individual level the majority of studies had insufficient power to reject a purely unique environmental model due to insufficient power to detect familial aggregation. This lack of power is seldom mentioned within studies, and has contributed to the misconception that twin studies of handedness are not informative.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Functional Laterality / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Twin Studies as Topic*
  • Twins, Dizygotic
  • Twins, Monozygotic