Behavioral Laterality in Captive Bonobos (Pan paniscus)

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Abstract

Behavioral laterality was studied in a captive group of 11 bonobos (Pan paniscus). In an observational method a significant left lateral bias in carrying and a right lateral bias in leading limb were found. Direction of lateral bias in carrying and leading limb was enhanced when subjects maintained a bipedal posture. Analysis of bimanual feeding behavior revealed a significant right-hand bias for eating when subjects were holding food with their left hand. In an experimental method a significant shift toward greater right-hand use was found when subjects were required to maintain a bipedal, rather than a quadrupedal, posture. There was no evidence of lateral bias for measures of face touching, self-touching, or gestures. The results are discussed in the context of previous reports of primate laterality.

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