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Researchers finger out success among top financial traders

A longer ring finger than an index finger denotes a more successful financial trader, British researchers said in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, usually referred to as PNAS, is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. .

Previous research found that the length ratio between the index finger and the ring finger, termed 2D:4D, is a measure of prenatal prenatal /pre·na·tal/ (-na´tal) preceding birth.

Preceding birth. Also called antenatal.


preceding birth.
 exposure to androgens Androgens
Male sex hormones produced by the adrenal glands and testes, the male sex glands.

Mentioned in: Acne, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Finasteride, Homocysteine, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Salpingo-Oophorectomy

 (male hormones) that can affect the developing brain giving it increased confidence and reaction times.

University of Cambridge researcher and chief author of the study John Coates Professor John Henry Coates, FRS (born January 26, 1945) is a mathematician who holds (since 1986) the position of Sadleirian Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  said androgens improve the concentration and reflexes needed in high-end financial trading.

In their study, researchers measured the fingers of 44 male traders in the City of London who were engaged in trading that involved rapid decision-making and quick physical reactions.

They then correlated cor·re·late  
v. cor·re·lat·ed, cor·re·lat·ing, cor·re·lates
1. To put or bring into causal, complementary, parallel, or reciprocal relation.

 finger length ratio to the traders' profits and losses during the preceding 20 months, concluding that a lower 2D:4D ratio predicted higher long-term profitability and longer careers in the business.

"The success and persistence of traders exposed to high levels of prenatal androgens suggests that financial markets may be influenced by traders' biological traits," the researchers said in the study.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Jan 13, 2009
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