The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men but not women

Geoff Sanders, T. Bereczkei, Arpad Csatho, John Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On average men score higher on time-constrained tests of spatial ability than women. Both brain and behaviour are influenced by prenatal and adult exposure to gonadal steroid hormones. In humans the ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length (2D:4D) is a sexually dimorphic character that is lower in men than women and negatively correlated with testosterone levels. We report three independent studies from Sweden/London, Hungary and Liverpool confirming that 2D:4D is generally larger in women than men, that men obtain higher MRT scores than women, and demonstrating that 2D:4D is negatively correlated with MRT score in men but not women. We argue that this negative correlation between 2D:4D and spatial ability reflects the association between 2D:4D and prenatal, rather than adult, exposure to testosterone and conclude that testosterone exposure influences brain development leading to better performance on male-favouring spatial tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-795
Number of pages7
JournalCortex
Volume41
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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Keywords

  • 2D:4D ratio
  • Finger length
  • Mental rotation
  • Sex differences
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men but not women. / Sanders, Geoff; Bereczkei, T.; Csatho, Arpad; Manning, John.

In: Cortex, Vol. 41, No. 6, 2005, p. 789-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sanders, G, Bereczkei, T, Csatho, A & Manning, J 2005, 'The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men but not women', Cortex, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 789-795.
Sanders, Geoff ; Bereczkei, T. ; Csatho, Arpad ; Manning, John. / The ratio of the 2nd to 4th finger length predicts spatial ability in men but not women. In: Cortex. 2005 ; Vol. 41, No. 6. pp. 789-795.
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