Laterality of Hand Function in Tufted Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella): Comparison between Tool Use Actions and Spontaneous Non-tool Actions

Authors

  • Gregory Charles Westergaard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda
      National Institutes of Health, Animal Center, PO Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA. E-mail: WESTERGG@LCE.NICHD.NIH.GOV
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Heather E. Kuhn,

    1. Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Stephen J. Suomi

    1. Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda
    Search for more papers by this author

National Institutes of Health, Animal Center, PO Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA. E-mail: WESTERGG@LCE.NICHD.NIH.GOV

Abstract

This study examined hand preference for tool use and spontaneous non-tool actions in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). We noted a lack of lateral bias across measures, and greater strength of hand preference for tool use than for self-directed or feeding activities. Animals that used tools exhibited a population-level right-hand bias for self-touching whereas animals that did not use tools exhibited a lack of lateral bias for this measure. Our findings are consistent with views that hand preference is expressed more strongly for tool use than for non-tool activities, and that lateral bias for self-directed behavior is related to problem-solving skills in primates.

Ancillary