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A meta-analysis of primate hand preference for reaching and other hand-use preferences.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
George F. Michel, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Humans, as do most vertebrate species studied, exhibit a limb preference for unimanual activities. However, two characteristics of the human limb preference are thought to distinguish it from that of other vertebrates: (a) The preference is the same across a variety of manual tasks that have few task demands or motor skills in common (handedness consistency); and (b) the handedness consistency is unevenly distributed in the population with a distinct right-handed skew. Thus, depending on the criteria used to define a preference, 70%–90% of humans exhibit a consistent right-hand preference for manual activities (Annett, 1985). This sharp population bias in the distribution of hand preference has been prevalent for much of the natural history of humans (Corballis, 1991) and is present in all cultures (Annett, 1985). Anthropological evidence suggests a population bias toward right-handedness in the hominid ancestors of humans that dates back at least 1.8 million years (McManus, 2002; Toth, 1985). The evidence shows both a right-hand dominance in the construction of tools and an asymmetry in form of tools such that their use would be much more manageable with the right hand. Thus, the right bias in human handedness seems to be an evolutionary extension of a right bias in hominid handedness.

Additional Information

Publication
Journal of Comparative Psychology. 119(1), 33-48
Language: English
Date: 2005
Keywords
Handedness consistency, Right-handedness