Equal first authorship.
Distinction between hand dominance and hand preference in primates: a behavioral investigation of manual dexterity in nonhuman primates (macaques) and human subjects
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Brain and Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Brain and Behavior
Volume 3, Issue 5, pages 575–595, September 2013
How to Cite
Brain and Behavior 2013; 3(5): 575–595
- Issue published online: 12 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 29 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 2 JAN 2013
- Swiss National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: 31-61857.00, 310000-110005, 31003A-132465, FZFS-0_144990, 31-121646
- The Novartis Foundation
- The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) on "Neural plasticity and repair"
- The Christopher Reeves Foundation
- Bimanual coordination;
- intermanual difference;
- motor performance;
- precision grip
The present study aimed to determine and confront hand preference (hand chosen in priority to perform a manual dexterity task) and hand dominance (hand with best motor performance) in eight macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and in 20 human subjects (10 left-handers and 10 right-handers).
Four manual dexterity tests have been executed by the monkeys, over several weeks during learning and stable performance phases (in controlled body position): the modified Brinkman board, the reach and grasp drawer, the tube and the bimanual board tasks. Three behavioral tests, adapted versions from the monkeys tasks (modified Brinkman board, tube and bimanual board tasks), as well as a handedness questionnaire, have been conducted in human subjects.
In monkeys, there was a large disparity across individuals and motor tasks. For hand dominance, two monkeys were rather right lateralized, three monkeys rather left lateralized, whereas in three monkeys, the different parameters measured were not consistent. For hand preference, none of the eight monkeys exhibited a homogeneous lateralization across the four motor tasks. Macaca fascicularis do not exhibit a clear hand preference. Furthermore, hand preference often changed with task repetition, both during training and plateau phases. For human subjects, the hand preference mostly followed the self-assessment of lateralization by the subjects and the questionnaire (in the latter, right-handers were more lateralized than left-handers), except a few discrepancies based on the tube task. There was no hand dominance in seven right-handers (the other three performed better with the right hand) and in four left-handers. Five left-handers showed left-hand dominance, whereas surprisingly, one left-hander performed better with the right hand. In the modified Brinkman board task, females performed better than males, right-handers better than left-handers.
The present study argues for a distinction between hand preference and hand dominance, especially in macaque monkeys.