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Can you HEAR what a person looks like? A growing body of research suggests we can. And by the way, fish talk too. If you didn't realize that, you haven't been listening.

Psychologist Susan Hughes says, "The mere sound of a person's voice contains important, embedded biological information." She bases this conclusion on the relationship between voice quality and another important biological marker: digit ratios. "The ratio of the second (index) finger to the fourth (ring) finger is an indirect measure of prenatal sex hormone exposure," she says. "The development of digit formation is influenced by a surge of sex hormones during the first trimester of prenatal development, around the same time that vocal cords and the larynx are developed. If the index finger is shorter in length than the ring finger, it's a sign of greater prenatal testosterone. A longer index finger is a sign of greater prenatal estrogen exposure.

"We found that women's voices that were rated as more mature or as dominant had shorter index fingers relative to ring fingers," she says, "This is a sign that they had greater prenatal testosterone than their female counterparts.

"Voices are a complex combination of several qualities. It may be the unique combination of features together that conveys information that potential mates can use to make assessments regarding mate quality and fitness." So when you notice an attractive voice across a crowded room?find out who it belongs to!

And fish also talk. LiveScience.com quotes researcher Andrew Bass (yes!) as saying, "Fish have all the same parts of the brain that you do."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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