Laterality in the gestural communication of wild chimpanzees
Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
© 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1288, The Evolution of Human Handedness pages 9–16, June 2013
How to Cite
Hobaiter, C. and Byrne, R. W. (2013), Laterality in the gestural communication of wild chimpanzees. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1288: 9–16. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12041
- Issue published online: 6 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 18 APR 2013
We examined hand preference in the intentional gestural communication of wild chimpanzees in the Budongo forest, Uganda. Individuals showed some tendency to be lateralized, although less than has been reported for begging and pointing gestures in captivity; on average, their absolute bias was around 0.25 (where 1.0 represents complete right- or left-hand use and 0.0 represents no bias). Lateralization was incomplete even in individuals with major manual disabilities. Where individuals had a stronger preference, this was more often toward the right hand; moreover, as age increased, the direction (but not the extent) of hand preference shifted toward the right. While the gestural repertoire as a whole was largely employed ambilateraly, object-manipulation gestures showed a strong right-hand bias.