Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Laterality in the gestural communication of wild chimpanzees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


e examined hand preference in the intentional gestural communication of wild chimpanzees in the Budongo forest, Uganda. Individuals showed some tendency to be lateralized, although less than has been reported for begging and pointing gestures in captivity; on average, their absolute bias was around 0.25 (where 1.0 represents complete right- or left-hand use and 0.0 represents no bias). Lateralization was incomplete even in individuals with major manual disabilities. Where individuals had a stronger preference, this was more often toward the right hand; moreover, as age increased, the direction (but not the extent) of hand preference shifted toward the right. While the gestural repertoire as a whole was largely employed ambilateraly, object-manipulation gestures showed a strong right-hand bias.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Early online date18 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The animal origins of disgust: reports of basic disgust in nonhuman great apes

    Case, T. I., Stevenson, R. J., Byrne, R. W. & Hobaiter, C., 23 May 2019, In : Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. Online First

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Bonobo and chimpanzee gestures overlap extensively in meaning

    Graham, K. E., Hobaiter, C., Ounsley, J., Furuichi, T. & Byrne, R. W., 27 Feb 2018, In : PLoS Biology. 16, 2, 18 p., e2004825.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Great ape gestures. Intentional communication with a rich set of innate signals

    Byrne, R. W., Cartmill, E., Genty, E., Graham, K. E., Hobaiter, C. L. & Tanner, J., Jul 2017, In : Animal Cognition. 20, 4, p. 755-769

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

ID: 55557607