What is it about?

The coordinated bimanual tube task is the gold standard for measuring handedness in nonhuman primates, but there is variability in the diameter of the tube that has used for testing, and this aspect of the task may influence hand preference strength. Contrary to conventional wisdom, spider monkeys were able to isolate a single digit when we made the opening of the tube smaller, and hand preference strength was increased by this precise digit use.

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Why is it important?

Traditionally, spider monkeys have been described as having a hook-like hand. In this paper, we show they are capable of independent digit control. These findings not only change the way we think about manipulation in this species, but we also show that increasing the difficulty of the task demands changes handedness strength.

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This page is a summary of: Precise digit use increases the expression of handedness in Colombian spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris), American Journal of Primatology, September 2015, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22478.
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