Researchers at Edinburgh University have recently conducted a study which discusses that children with balanced and proportionate hands have higher mental reaction times. Testing across age and gender, the study found that the result was the same regardless.
Previous studies have actually shown that there is a definite link between body symmetry and mental performance in the elder years; and that men with more symmetrical faces seem to experience slower brain degradation in old age.
This is the first study, however, to connect symmetry with children.
Professor Ian Deary is the Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh. He led the research project and confides, “The connection between physical symmetry and reaction times could be an important clue to health and well-being over a person’s life course. This finding can shed light on how the mind and the body develop together from childhood to older age.”
He goes on to say, “We did not think there would be a large association between hand symmetry and speediness of response, but we did find a slight and significant one. It is an interesting small contribution to our trying to understand how early development might link with later health.”
Professor Deary also adds that bodily symmetry could actually sign of biological fitness.
He continues, “There was a slight association such that faster responses went, on average, with greater hand symmetry. We now have evidence that these two predictors of later health are related in early life.”
In conclusion, Dr David Hope, with the centre for medical education—also at the University of Edinburgh—said: “This finding links cognitive ability and health very early in the life course – even before school-age physical actions are connected with a person’s body then reflected in mental function.”