Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
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

Department of Psychology, University of Georgia and Living Links Center, Athens 30602, USA.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center