Captive chimpanzees’ manual laterality in tool use context: Influence of communication and of sociodemographic factors

Abstract : Understanding variations of apes’ laterality between activities is a central issue when investigating the evolutionary origins of human hemispheric specialization of manual functions and language. We assessed laterality of 39 chimpanzees in a non-communication action similar to termite fishing that we compared with data on five frequent conspecific-directed gestures involving a tool previously exploited in the same subjects. We evaluated, first, population-level manual laterality for tool-use in non-communication actions; second, the influence of sociodemographic factors (age, sex, group, and hierarchy) on manual laterality in both non-communication actions and gestures. No significant right-hand bias at the population level was found for non-communication tool use, contrary to our previous findings for gestures involving a tool. A multifactorial analysis revealed that hierarchy and age particularly modulated manual laterality. Dominants and immatures were more right-handed when using a tool in gestures than in non-communication actions. On the contrary, subordinates, adolescents, young and mature adults as well as males were more right-handed when using a tool in non-communication actions than in gestures. Our findings support the hypothesis that some primate species may have a specific left-hemisphere processing gestures distinct from the cerebral system processing non-communication manual actions and to partly support the tool use hypothesis.
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https://hal-univ-rennes1.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01920821
Contributor : Antoine l'Azou <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 2:51:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 4:12:05 PM

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Jacques Prieur, Simone Pika, Catherine Blois-Heulin, Stéphanie Barbu. Captive chimpanzees’ manual laterality in tool use context: Influence of communication and of sociodemographic factors. Behavioural Processes, Elsevier, 2018, 157, pp.610 - 624. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2018.04.009⟩. ⟨hal-01920821⟩

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