Document Detail


Human infants and baboons show the same pattern of handedness for a communicative gesture.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22470500     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
To test the role of gestures in the origin of language, we studied hand preferences for grasping or pointing to objects at several spatial positions in human infants and adult baboons. If the roots of language are indeed in gestural communication, we expect that human infants and baboons will present a comparable difference in their pattern of laterality according to task: both should be more right-hand/left-hemisphere specialized when communicating by pointing than when simply grasping objects. Our study is the first to test both human infants and baboons on the same communicative task. Our results show remarkable convergence in the distribution of the two species' hand biases on the two kinds of tasks: In both human infants and baboons, right-hand preference was significantly stronger for the communicative task than for grasping objects. Our findings support the hypothesis that left-lateralized language may be derived from a gestural communication system that was present in the common ancestor of baboons and humans.
Authors:
Helene Meunier; Jacques Vauclair; Jacqueline Fagard
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-03-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-04-03     Completed Date:  2012-08-03     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e33959     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Primatology Centre of Strasbourg University, Fort Foch, Niederhausbergen, France. meunier.h@gmail.com
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Animal Communication
Animals
Female
Functional Laterality / physiology*
Gestures*
Humans
Infant
Male
Papio
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