Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Digit ratio (2D:4D) as a marker for mental disorders: Low (masculinized) 2D:4D in autism-spectrum disorders, high (feminized) 2D:4D in schizophrenic-spectrum disorders

Martin Voraceka1

a1 Department of Basic Psychological Research, School of Psychology, University of Vienna, A-1010 Vienna, Austria.


Augmenting and supplementing the arguments of Crespi & Badcock (C&B), I show that digit ratio (2D:4D), a putative marker of prenatal androgen action, indeed appears differentially altered in autism-spectrum disorders (lower/masculinized) versus schizophrenic-spectrum disorders (higher/feminized). Consistent with C&B's framework, some evidence (substantial heritability, assortative mating, sex-specific familial transmission) points to possible sex chromosome and imprinted genes effects on 2D:4D expression.