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J Comp Psychol. 1995 Sep;109(3):291-7.

Hand preferences for a coordinated bimanual task in 110 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): cross-sectional analysis.

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  • 1Division of Behavioral Biology, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Hand preference for a coordinated bimanual task was assessed in a sample of 110 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Subjects were presented with opaque tubes, the inside of which was coated with peanut butter. The hand and finger used to extract the peanut butter was recorded in 2 test sessions. A population right-hand bias was found. Juvenile and adolescent subjects were less lateralized than adults. All subjects primarily used their index finger to extract peanut butter. Use of the index finger was higher in adults and adolescents compared with juveniles. The results suggest that coordinated bimanual tasks (a) elicit strong hand preferences at the individual level and (b) elicit population level right-handedness.

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