Hand preferences on unimanual and bimanual tasks in Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana)

Authors

  • Charlotte Canteloup,

    1. Primatology Center of Strasbourg University, Fort Foch, Niederhausbergen, France
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  • Jacques Vauclair,

    1. Center for Research on the Psychology of Cognition, Language and Emotion, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence Cedex 1, France
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  • Hélène Meunier

    Corresponding author
    1. Primatology Center of Strasbourg University, Fort Foch, Niederhausbergen, France
    2. Center for Research on the Psychology of Cognition, Language and Emotion, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence Cedex 1, France
    • Correspondence to: Hélène Meunier, Centre de Primatologie, Université de Strasbourg, Fort Foch, 67207 Niederhausbergen, France. E-mail: meunier.h@gmail.com

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ABSTRACT

This is the first study to examine hand preferences in Tonkean macaques on a bimanual task. One of our objectives was to continue the move toward greater task standardization, in order to facilitate comparisons between species and studies on handedness. The main aim was to test and determine task robustness, by varying intra-task complexity. To this end, we administered several different tasks to the subjects: two unimanual tasks (grasping task featuring items of different sizes) and three coordinated bimanual tasks (tube task involving different materials, weights, and diameters). Although we found no significant hand preference in either task at the group level, the macaques were more strongly lateralized for small items than for large ones in the unimanual grasping task. Moreover, the absence of a correlation between these two versions of the unimanual task confirmed the weakness of this grasping task for assessing handedness. Regarding the bimanual tube task, no difference was found between the three versions in either the direction or the strength of hand preference. Moreover, the highly correlated hand preferences between these three versions suggest that the tube task provides a more robust means of measuring manual preferences. Am J Phys Anthropol 152:315–321, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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