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Title: Hand preferences in bonobos (Pan paniscus) for a variety of actions: spontaneous daily actions (non-social and social), bimanual coordination (tube task), tool-use (termite fishing) and induced gestures (begging)
Authors: Chapelain, Amandine
Keywords: Bonobos
Pan paniscus
Laterality
Brain lateralization
Handedness
Evolution
Hand preference
Primates
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: © Amandine Chapelain
Abstract: The database on hand preferences in non-human primates provides inconsistent and inconclusive findings, and is plagued by gaps and methodological issues. I studied hand preferences in the bonobo, which is a very interesting model for investigating evolutionary hypotheses on human handedness. There are few previous data on bonobos and they are from small samples and for relatively simple tasks. I studied a large sample of 94 bonobos in three zoos and one sanctuary, on a variety of actions. Five studies were performed to record: 1. hand use for spontaneous daily actions (non-social). 2. hand use for the tube task , a task that requires a manipulative bimanual coordinated precise action. 3. hand use for using a stick as a probe ( termite fishing ). 4. hand use for spontaneous social actions and gestures, recorded during their social interactions (intra-specific) and during interactions with humans (inter-specific). 5. hand use for induced begging gestures (begging for food from the observer). The results show significant manual laterality in almost all the behaviours studied. The hand preferences were present on an individual basis. The numbers of right-handed and left-handed individuals were similar, indicating no group-level bias, for any of the actions studied. There was no significant effect of the settings, rearing history, sex and age (except in study 2 where adults were more right-handed than younger subjects). I examined different factors that have been proposed as selective pressures for the emergence of handedness. Laterality was influenced by: postural demands (posture, activity of the other hand), precision, grip type, manipulation or bimanual coordination, tool-use, throwing, communication. Notably, the laterality was very marked for the tube task , the termite fishing task and the begging experiment, which suggests that the factors involved in these tasks could be important factors regarding laterality.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/7273
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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