J Exp Psychol Gen 2002 Sep;131(3):412-23
Division of Psychobiology, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
Three experiments on grip morphology and hand use were conducted in a sample of chimpanzees. In Experiment 1, grip morphology when grasping food items was recorded, and it was found that subjects who adopted a precision grip were more right-handed than chimpanzees using other grips. In Experiment 2, the effect of food type on grasping was assessed. Smaller food items elicited significantly more precision grips for the right hand. In Experiment 3, error rates in grasping foods were compared between the left and right hands. Significantly more errors were made for the left compared with the right hand. The cumulative results indicate that chimpanzees show a left-hemisphere asymmetry in motor skill that is associated with the use of precision grips.