Document Detail

Bipedal tool use strengthens chimpanzee hand preferences.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20089294     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The degree to which non-human primate behavior is lateralized, at either individual or population levels, remains controversial. We investigated the relationship between hand preference and posture during tool use in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) during bipedal tool use. We experimentally induced tool use in a supported bipedal posture, an unsupported bipedal posture, and a seated posture. Neither bipedal tool use nor these supported conditions have been previously evaluated in apes. The hypotheses tested were 1) bipedal posture will increase the strength of hand preference, and 2) a bipedal stance, without the use of one hand for support, will elicit a right hand preference. Results supported the first, but not the second hypothesis: bipedalism induced the subjects to become more lateralized, but not in any particular direction. Instead, it appears that subtle pre-existing lateral biases, to either the right or left, were emphasized with increasing postural demands. This result has interesting implications for theories of the evolution of tool use and bipedalism, as the combination of bipedalism and tool use may have helped drive extreme lateralization in modern humans, but cannot alone account for the preponderance of right-handedness.
Stephanie Braccini; Susan Lambeth; Steve Schapiro; W Tecumseh Fitch
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-01-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of human evolution     Volume:  58     ISSN:  1095-8606     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Hum. Evol.     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-01     Completed Date:  2010-05-25     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0337330     Medline TA:  J Hum Evol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  234-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution, School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Functional Laterality*
Pan troglodytes / physiology,  psychology*
Tool Use Behavior*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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