Human handedness: an inherited evolutionary trait

Forrester, G.S., Quaresmini, C., Leavens, D.A., Mareschald, D. and Thomas, M.S.C. 2013. Human handedness: an inherited evolutionary trait. Behavioural Brain Research. 237, pp. 200-206.

TitleHuman handedness: an inherited evolutionary trait
AuthorsForrester, G.S., Quaresmini, C., Leavens, D.A., Mareschald, D. and Thomas, M.S.C.
Abstract

Our objective was to demonstrate that human population-level, right-handedness, is not species specific, precipitated from language areas in the brain, but rather is context specific and inherited from a behavior common to both humans and great apes. In general, previous methods of assessing human handedness have neglected to consider the context of action, or employ methods suitable for direct comparison across species. We employed a bottom-up, context-sensitive method to quantitatively assess manual actions in right-handed, typically developing children during naturalistic behavior. By classifying the target to which participants directed a manual action, as animate (social partner, self) or inanimate (non-living functional objects), we found that children demonstrated a significant right-hand bias for manual actions directed toward inanimate targets, but not for manual actions directed toward animate targets. This pattern was revealed at both the group and individual levels. We used a focal video sampling, corpus data-mining approach to allow for direct comparisons with captive gorillas (Forrester et al. Animal Cognition 2011;14(6):903–7) and chimpanzees (Forrester et al. Animal Cognition, in press). Comparisons of handedness patters support the view that population-level, human handedness, and its origin in cerebral lateralization is not a new or human-unique characteristic. These data are consistent with the theory that human right-handedness is a trait developed through tool use that was inherited from an ancestor common to both humans and great apes.

JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Journal citation237, pp. 200-206
ISSN0166-4328
Year15 Jan 2013
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.037
Publication dates
Published15 Jan 2013

Related outputs

An analysis of bimanual actions in natural feeding of semi-wild chimpanzees
Forrester, G.S., Rawlings, B. and Davila-Ross, M. 2016. An analysis of bimanual actions in natural feeding of semi-wild chimpanzees. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 159 (1), pp. 85-92.

Slip of the tongue: Implications for evolution and language development
Forrester, G.S. and Rodriguez, A. 2015. Slip of the tongue: Implications for evolution and language development. Cognition. 141, pp. 103-111.

What is universal and what differs in language development?
Forrester, G.S. and Thomas, M.S.C. 2015. What is universal and what differs in language development? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 30 (8), pp. 922-927.

Social Environment Elicits Lateralized Behaviors in Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
Quaresmini, C., Forrester, G.S., Spiezio, C. and Vallortigara, G. 2014. Social Environment Elicits Lateralized Behaviors in Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology. 128 (3), pp. 276-84.

Handedness as a marker of cerebral lateralization in children with and without autism
Forrester, G.S., Pegler, R., Thomas, M.S.C. and Mareschal, D. 2014. Handedness as a marker of cerebral lateralization in children with and without autism. Behavioural Brain Research. 268, pp. 14-21.

Social environment elicits lateralized navigational paths in two populations of typically developing children
Forrester, G.S., Crawley, M. and Palmer, C. 2014. Social environment elicits lateralized navigational paths in two populations of typically developing children. Brain and Cognition. 91, pp. 21-27.

Structured bimanual actions and hand transfers reveal population-level right-handedness in captive gorillas
Tabiowo, E. and Forrester, G.S. 2013. Structured bimanual actions and hand transfers reveal population-level right-handedness in captive gorillas. Animal Behaviour. 86 (5), pp. 1049-1057.

The right hand man: manual laterality and language
Forrester, G.S. and Quaresmini, C. 2013. The right hand man: manual laterality and language. in: Csermely, D. and Regolin, L. (ed.) Behavioural lateralization in vertebrates: two sides of a same coin Berlin Heidelberg Springer. pp. 125-141

Target animacy influences chimpanzee handedness
Forrester, G.S., Quaresmini, C., Leavens, D.A., Spiezio, C. and Vallortigara, G. 2012. Target animacy influences chimpanzee handedness. Animal Cognition. 15 (6), pp. 1121-1127.

Target animacy influences gorilla handedness
Forrester, G.S., Leavens, D.A., Quaresmini, C. and Vallortigara, G. 2011. Target animacy influences gorilla handedness. Animal Cognition. 14 (6), pp. 903-907.

A multidimensional approach to investigations of behaviour: revealing structure in animal communication signals
Forrester, G.S. 2008. A multidimensional approach to investigations of behaviour: revealing structure in animal communication signals. Animal Behaviour. 76 (5), pp. 1749-1760.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8yxx6/human-handedness-an-inherited-evolutionary-trait


Share this
Tweet
Email