By comparing your index and ring fingers, a neuroscientist can tell if you are likely to be anxious or whether you are likely to be a good athlete.If your index finger is longer than your ring finger, you are likely to be bad at sports but better at verbal memory tasks, a new study says.But men and women with shorter index fingers compared to their ring finger are less anxious, better at mentally demanding 3D-rotation tasks and better at sport.
The ratio between the ring and index fingers, known in scientists’ jargon as 2D and 4D, can reveal the levels of testosterone someone was exposed to in the womb.’The relationship between the index finger and ring finger in particular indicates how much testosterone you have been exposed to in utero,’ said Carl Pintzka, a medical doctor and researcher at the National Competence Service for Functional MRI in Trondheim, Norway.But Dr Pintzka wanted to see what else is linked with different ratios of the index to the ring finger.
The greater level of testosterone, shown by the ring finger being longer than the index, means someone is likely to be a better athlete.
‘The greatest effect has been found for various physical and athletic measures, where high levels of prenatal testosterone are consistently linked with better capabilities,’ Dr Pintzka said.
IF YOUR INDEX FINGER IS LONGER THAN RING FINGER
This means you have low testosterone levels and are likely to be:
Worse at sports.
Better at verbal memory tasks, like remembering lists of words.
More likely to become anxious or depressed.
IF YOUR INDEX FINGER SHORTER THAN RING FINGER
This means you have high testosterone levels and are likely to be:
Better at sports.
Better at rotating a complicated object in their head.
More likely to develop ADHD, autism or Tourette’s.
‘Beyond this we find a number of uncertain results, but a general feature is that high levels of testosterone generally correlate with superior abilities on tasks that men usually perform better, such as various spatial tasks like directional sense,’ he adds. People with more testosterone are better at rotating a complicated object in their head.
‘The women who scored best on the mental rotation tasks had high levels of testosterone both prenatally and in their adult lives, while those who scored worst had low levels in both,’ says Pintzka.But low levels of testosterone are associated with better abilities in verbal memory tasks, like remembering lists of words.
The affects do not end there, however.The amount of testosterone in the womb has been linked with an increase in certain disorders.Studies show high levels of testosterone in the womb correlate with an increased risk of developing diseases that are more common in men, such as ADHD, Tourette’s and autism.Low levels of testosterone are associated with an increased risk of developing diseases that are more common in women, like anxiety and depression. Further study into this correlation is needed, Dr Pintzka said.
But, those who do not fall into either of these categories, with index and ring fingers the same length, are more likely to be faithful, according to a study last year.In contrast, those with a longer ring finger, pictured, could be more likely to cheat.The researchers said that while hormone exposure could not predict the behaviour of every individual, the link meant finger length could help identify people who are likely to be more promiscuous.
The experimental psychologists from Oxford University and Northumbria University studied 600 men and women in Britain and the US, looking at the link between hand shape and sexual habits.