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J Comp Psychol. 1999 Dec;113(4):417-25.

The whole-hand point: the structure and function of pointing from a comparative perspective.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia and Living Links Center, Athens 30602, USA. daleavens@aol.com

Abstract

Pointing by monkeys, apes, and human infants is reviewed and compared. Pointing with the index finger is a species-typical human gesture, although human infants exhibit more whole-hand pointing than is commonly appreciated. Captive monkeys and feral apes have been reported to only rarely "spontaneously" point, although apes in captivity frequently acquire pointing, both with the index finger and with the whole hand, without explicit training. Captive apes exhibit relatively more gaze alternation while pointing than do human infants about 1 year old. Human infants are relatively more vocal while pointing than are captive apes, consistent with paralinguistic use of pointing.

PMID:
10608565
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2080771
Free PMC Article

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