Assessment of lateralized behaviour in free-ranging Mexican mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana)
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
The evolutionary origins of human handedness are still unknown. The study of lateralized behaviour in our closest relatives, the nonhuman primates, is useful to clarify how this trait appeared and evolved in our species. In the present study, lateralized behaviour was assessed in a population of 32 free-ranging Mexican mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana) for thirteen spontaneous motor patterns, at individual and group levels, as well as the effect that age, sex and posture have on its strength and direction. The studied population of howler monkeys displayed only few significant lateral biases at the individual level with single motor patterns (Binomial tests, p≤0.05). No biases towards the use of a particular limb or side of the body were found at a population level. Therefore, even though some individuals showed significant limb/side preference with single motor patterns, no signs of task specialization, side specialization, or true handedness were found. Similarly, no effects of sex, age or posture were found on the direction or strength of lateralized behaviour. The general absence of limb/side preferences found in this population may be due to the constraints imposed by the arboreal life and/or the type of diet. Possible causal agents of the few significant individual biases found here may be the presence of handicaps and/or experience. Further research is needed in order to assess whether the lack of human-like handedness reported in this study is only specific to the studied population, a general phenomenon of the genus Alouatta or perhaps of all the Platyrrhini.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 37 p.
lateralized behaviour, limb/side preference, mantled howler monkeys, motor patterns, non-human primates.
Behavioral Sciences Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122283OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122283DiVA: diva2:865325
Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana
Subject / course
2015-05-28, Nobel, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Laska, Matthias, Professor
Jensen, Per, Professor