Hand usage in a colony of bonnett monkeys, Macaca radiata

R. J. Brooker, R. A W Lehman, R. C. Heimbuch, K. K. Kidd

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35 Scopus citations


Handedness and its possible inheritance have been studied in a colony of 69 Macaca radiata by observation of hand usage during daily feeding and foraging activities. Each animal was observed for the number of right- and left-handed actions made during two tasks: feeding and searching. Individual animals fell into one of three classes: significantly right-handed, significantly left-handed, and no significant preference. For analysis, handedness was considered as both a directional phenomenon (percentage right-handed usage) and a degree phenomenon (absolute deviation from 50:50 hand usage). Feeding and searching were significantly correlated for both direction and degree. Therefore, laterality for handedness does exist in this primate species. A developmental aspect to laterality was suggested by the positive correlation of degree with age. No mother-offspring correlations were found for either direction or degree and half-sibships were not more similar for either. Thus, there is no evidence for a genetic component to either direction or degree of handedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981


  • Macaca radiata
  • bonnett monkeys
  • degree of handedness
  • genetics of handedness
  • handedness
  • laterality
  • macaques


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