Digit ratio (2D:4D) and lateralization for basic numerical quantification

Helen Brookes, Nick Neave, Colin Hamilton, Bernhard Fink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The ratio between the second and fourth fingers (2D:4D) is supposed to serve as a putative indicator of prenatal testosterone (PT). Significant associations between 2D:4D, children's basic numerical ability, and the Spatial Numerical Associations of Response Codes (SNARC) effect have recently been reported. The present study explored potential relationships between 2D:4D and the basic numerical ability of subitizing (the rapid enumeration of small quantities) in 80 right-handed adult volunteers. Participants completed a short battery of computerized subitizing and color recognition control tasks with both left and right hands, independently (order counterbalanced). Findings revealed a significant interaction between sex and 2D:4D on reaction time differences for right vs. left hand responses to the subitizing task. While 2D:4D in women showed a significant negative association with a right-hand advantage for the task, a nonsignificant trend in the opposite direction was observed for men. Results are discussed with respect to the possible effect of PT on sex differences in lateralization for basic quantification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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