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Now fingers to foretell English, maths results

entertainment Updated: May 24, 2007 17:05 IST

ANI
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A new research has found that parents can foresee their children's exam performance simply by looking at their hands.

The University of Bath study suggests that English and maths tests results are related to the length of fingers.

Students with longer ring fingers are more likely to do extremely well in numeracy while those with shorter ring fingers are said to be more proficient at literacy.

Scientists believe that the development can be elucidated by the levels of testosterone and oestrogen that comes in contact with the children in the womb. The sex hormones are believed to administer brain development as well as finger length.

"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills. Oestrogen is thought to do the same in the areas of the brain which are often associated with verbal ability,” the Daily Mail quoted Mark Brosnan, who led the study, as saying.

"Interestingly, these hormones are also thought to have a say in the relative lengths of our index and ring fingers. We can use measurements of these fingers as a way of gauging the relative exposure to these two hormones in the womb. And, as we have shown through this study, we can also use them to predict ability in the key areas of numeracy and literacy,” he added.

In the study, which is published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists calculated the finger lengths of 75 seven-year-olds by using photocopies of their palms.

They took measurements of the index and ring fingers of the right hands of each child, following which they divided the length of the index finger by the length of the ring finger to estimate each child's 'digit ratio'.

Using scores in 'key stage' English and maths tests, the researchers compared the measurements of the study group with their performance in the classroom.

The results showed that children with lesser digit ratios, a longer ring finger and greater pre-natal exposure to testosterone, were more likely to excel at maths than English.

In the same way, pupils with higher ratios i.e. shorter ring fingers and greater exposure to oestrogen, fared well in English tests than maths.