Comparative Assessment of Handedness for a Coordinated Bimanual Task in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

William D. Hopkins, Kristen E. Lukas, Stephen R. Ross, Tara S. Stoinski, Michael J. Wesley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual task were assessed in a sample of 31 captive gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and 19 captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) and were compared with chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) hand preferences in subjects that were matched on the basis of age, sex, and rearing history. The task required that the apes remove food from the inside edges of a symmetrical polyvinyl chloride pipe presented to them in their home cages. The results indicate significant species differences with chimpanzees showing population-level right-handedness and orangutans showing population-level left-handedness. The gorillas showed a nonsignificant trend toward right-handedness. The results are discussed in terms of possible ecological or biomechanical factors that may influence hand preferences in different ape species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)
Volume117
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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