Vergisson 4: a left-handed Neandertal.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2017 01 21;162(1):186-190. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles Lettres de Mâcon, 71870, Mâcon, France.

Objectives: Handedness is an important marker for lateralization of humans in the modern and fossil record. For the most part, Neandertals and their ancestors are strongly right-handed. We describe a single tooth from a Neandertal level at Vergisson 4 (Vg 4-83). This left upper central incisor shows all the features typical of Neandertal incisors. It also exhibits a predominance of left-handed striations.

Methods: Striations on the incisor's labial surface were mapped at 20x magnification using Photoshop. Angulations of the striations were determined from their deviation from the maximum mesio-distal line and were analyzed using NIH's freeware, Image J.

Results: Of the 60 labial surface striations, Vg 4-83 shows a strong predominance of left-handed striations (46; 76.7%), which are statistically significantly different (p < .001 with a two-tailed chi test) from the small number (3) of right-handed striations.

Discussion: The identification of another left-handed Neandertal adds to our understanding about handedness variation in this fossil hominin. Given the high frequency of right-handed Neandertals, the 90: 10 modern ratio is still preserved in this group.

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http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/ajpa.23101
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23101DOI Listing
January 2017
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