When you talk on the phone, do you hold it up to your right ear or your left? Scientists say your preference could reveal a lot about you.


A new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found a strong link between brain dominance and the ear used to listen to a call. More than 70 percent of us hold our phones up to the ear on the same side as our dominant hand — in other words, right-handed people use their right ear, and vice versa.

Left-brain dominant people (whose speech and language center is on the left side of the brain) are more likely to be right-handed and to use their right ear for phone calls, even though the hearing there was found to be no better. The opposite is also true — right-brain dominant people tend to use their left hand to hold the phone in their left ear.

“Our findings have several implications, especially for mapping the language center of the brain,” says Dr. Michael Seidman, director of the division of otologic and neurotologic surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

He added that his work also adds to a growing body of evidence that finds no link between cell phone use and cancer — otherwise, he said, since most people are right-handed and tend to use their right ears for cell calls, tumors would almost always occur on the right side of the head or neck.