Sex difference in squirrel monkeys handedness for unimanual and bimanual coordinated tasks

Meguerditchian, Adrien and Donnot, Julien and Molesti, Sandra and Francioly, Richard and Vauclair, Jacques (2012) Sex difference in squirrel monkeys handedness for unimanual and bimanual coordinated tasks. Animal Behaviour, 83 (3). pp. 635-643. ISSN 0003-3472

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.12.005

Abstract

Whether nonhuman primates exhibit population-level manual bias remains controversial. There is
a growing body of evidence showing consistent individual lateralization and population-level handedness
particularly for complex manual behaviours such as bimanual coordinated actions in both monkeys
and apes. Whereas the few published studies on hand preferences in squirrel monkeys, Saimiri sciureus,
have focused only on unimanual behaviours and generally failed to elicit population-level handedness,
we report in this paper the first set of data on hand use for a bimanual coordinated behaviour elicited by
the manipulation of an artificial tube in a sample of 37 captive-born squirrel monkeys. The task consisted
of holding an opaque tube with one hand and removing the food inside the tube with the other hand. For
comparison, hand use data were collected from 38 subjects for unimanual reaching for food from an
experimenter when the squirrel monkeys were clinging vertically on the door of the cage. For bimanual
coordinated actions, we found a nonsignificant trend towards left-handedness at a population level,
especially in males, whereas unimanual reaching when clinging elicited a significant predominance of
right-handedness, especially in females. These results are discussed within comparative approaches
across primate species and within different theoretical frameworks about the determining factors of
handedness in nonhuman primates.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Whether nonhuman primates exhibit population-level manual bias remains controversial. There is a growing body of evidence showing consistent individual lateralization and population-level handedness particularly for complex manual behaviours such as bimanual coordinated actions in both monkeys and apes. Whereas the few published studies on hand preferences in squirrel monkeys, Saimiri sciureus, have focused only on unimanual behaviours and generally failed to elicit population-level handedness, we report in this paper the first set of data on hand use for a bimanual coordinated behaviour elicited by the manipulation of an artificial tube in a sample of 37 captive-born squirrel monkeys. The task consisted of holding an opaque tube with one hand and removing the food inside the tube with the other hand. For comparison, hand use data were collected from 38 subjects for unimanual reaching for food from an experimenter when the squirrel monkeys were clinging vertically on the door of the cage. For bimanual coordinated actions, we found a nonsignificant trend towards left-handedness at a population level, especially in males, whereas unimanual reaching when clinging elicited a significant predominance of right-handedness, especially in females. These results are discussed within comparative approaches across primate species and within different theoretical frameworks about the determining factors of handedness in nonhuman primates.
Keywords:bimanual coordination, handedness, hemispheric specialization, nonhuman primate, Saimiri sciureus, squirrel monkey, unimanual reaching
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C170 Population Biology
C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
C Biological Sciences > C860 Neuropsychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:5460
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:07 May 2012 15:52
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:07

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