Variability of palmprint ridge density in a North Indian population and its use in inference of sex in forensic examinations

*, Kewal Krishan and Kanchan, Tanuj and Sharma, Ruchika and Pathania, Annu (2014) Variability of palmprint ridge density in a North Indian population and its use in inference of sex in forensic examinations. HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 65. pp. 476-488.

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tFingerprints and palmprints are unique to an individual, and thesebiometric characters are used in the identification of individuals.In the recent past, ridge density (ridge count in a defined area) hasbeen explored for its applicability in inference of sex from the fin-gerprints and palmprints recovered at the crime scene. The presentresearch aims to study the variability of palmprint ridge densityin a North Indian population, and its significance in inference ofsex in forensic examinations. The sample consisted of 157 healthyyoung adults (110 females and 47 males) from Shimla city in NorthIndia. Bilateral palmprints were taken from all the participants fol-lowing standard methods. The palmprints were manually analyzedin four defined areas of each palmprint that included the centralprominent part of the thenar eminence (P1), the mount distal tothe axial triradius on the hypothenar region (P2), the mount proxi-mal to the triradius of the second digit (P3) and the mount proximalto the triradius of the fifth digit (P4). The ridge density was calcu-lated diagonally using a square measuring 5 mm × 5 mm. The sexdifferences in palmprint ridge densities were statistically analyzedfor each of the designated areas using statistical considerations.Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was done to test the overall ability of the palmprint ridge densities obtainedfrom each area in inference of sex. The mean palmprint ridge den-sity was found to be significantly greater in females than in males inall the four defined areas of the palmprint. Ridge densities in P3 andP4 areas of the palmprint showed statistically significant bilateraldifferences in both males and females. The study observed varia-tions in the ridge density between the four designated areas of thepalmprint. Based on the area under the ROC curve (AUC), maximumsexing potential for the palmprint ridge density was observed in theP4 area, followed by P3 area on both right and left sides. ROC analysisof the total palmprint ridge density indicated that the sexing accu-racy from the right and left palmprint ridge densities was 70.2% and71.8% respectively. The study shows variability of palmprint ridgedensity among sexes and in different regions of the palm on bothsides. In view of the considerable overlapping in male and femalevalues and lower levels of accuracy obtained in ROC analysis, thepresent research concludes that the palmprint ridge density cannotbe used as an effective tool in inference of sex. However, in absenceof other more reliable means/evidence, it still can be considered asa supportive trait in sex inference.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medicine > KMC Mangalore > Forensic Medicine
Depositing User: KMCMLR User
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2014 06:16
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2014 06:16

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