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Keywords:

  • laterality;
  • Cercocebus torquatus torquatus;
  • posture;
  • task complexity

Abstract

Hand preference in 11 captive red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus) was examined under different conditions: a free situation during spontaneous food processing, three different postural conditions (brachiating, and bipedal and tripedal standing), and a situation involving bimanual processing. Generally, individual laterality was found regardless of the task and behavior involved. However, the number of monkeys with hand preferences and the strength of the preference increased with the complexity of the tasks. The monkeys exhibited a significantly higher and positive mean manual preference index (HI) when they were hanging than when they were quadrupedal or sitting. The strength of manual preference (ABS-HI) was in turn higher when the monkeys were hanging or bipedal than when they were quadrupedal. The strength of manual preference was higher for both the bimanual and experimental tasks than for unimanual tasks and spontaneous activities. Although our sample was too small to allow us to make any generalizations concerning lateral preferences in red-capped mangabeys, we propose some hypotheses about the influence of posture stability and task complexity. Am. J. Primatol. 68:1–16, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.