Quick - put your cell phone up to your ear. Which side is it on? Researchers say that simple move can tell them a lot about how your brain works.
When it comes to how you hold your phone, turns out it's your brain that makes the call.
"We understand now that most people who are right-handed use their right ear and most people who are left-handed use their left ear and we believe it had to do with hemispheric dominance," said Dr. Michael Seidman, the study’s author.
A team at Henry Ford Hospitals found that more than 70% of people held their phone to the ear on the same side as their dominant hand. That tended to be the case even when it made it more difficult to hold the phone and take notes.
Researchers think the preference is determined by the location of the speech and language centers in your brain.
Left-brain thinkers who tend to be more logical and analytical are more likely to hold the phone to their right ear, while right-brain thinkers who are often more intuitive and creative tend to hold the phone to their left ear.
Researchers say the findings may help develop less invasive tests for brain mapping and guide research into potential cancer risks
"The other interesting question that we're now starting to look by looking at tumor registry banks is that if indeed 80 to 90 percent of the people are using their right ear for their cell phone use or other types of things up to their ear,” said Seidman. “The question becomes is this related to cancer."
If so researchers would expect far more people to be diagnosed with cancer on the right side of their brain, head and neck.
When asked why they preferred the ear they did, people in the study said it was because the phone just sounded better on that side. Only seven-percent used both ears.