Two Fingers for Science?

Credit: Felicity Carlysle

Researchers believe they have found a link between the relative lengths of your index and ring fingers and a predisposition to the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 1. The disease is believed to be influenced by prenatal factors, although the precise aetiology is unknown. The relative lengths of your index and ring fingers (the 2D:4D ratio) indicate your level of exposure to prenatal testosterone. Hypothesising that high prenatal testosterone levels could be a factor in the development of ALS, the researchers tested this by examining the 2D:4D ratio of patients and their findings appear to support their theory. A quick internet search revealed that there are over 20 research papers published in 2011 so far on the 2D:4D ratio as an indication of various medical and psychological conditions. There are also sites which link the ratio to a number of less scientific theories such as ability in exams. So how reliable are these results, and can your fingers really indicate anything other than how long your fingers are? The GIST podcasters tackle this topic in their latest offering of GIST-y goodness.

Tell your friends!Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Reddit0


  1.  Vivekanada, U., Manjalay, Z-R., Ganesalingam, J. et al. Low index-to-ring finger length ratio in sporadic ALS supports prenatally defined motor neuronal vulnerability. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2011

Published on: June 14, 2011

Filled Under: Life Sciences, Snippets

Views: 568

, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>