Abstract # 13306 Event # 71:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: (Room 326) Oral Presentation


HAND PREFERENCE IN RUFFED LEMURS (VARECIA SPP.) WHEN PERFORMING TOUCHSCREEN COGNITIVE TASKS

R. Vagell1, T. Andres-Bray1 and A. L. Baden2,3,4
1Hunter College of the City University of New York, Animal Behavior and Conservation Program , Department of Psychology, New York, NY 10065, USA, 2Department of Anthropology, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 3Departments of Anthropology and Biology, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York , 4The New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
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Hand preference is evident in most primate taxa. Here, we investigate whether there is a hand preference in ruffed lemurs (Varecia spp.) when performing cognitive tasks. Subjects (n = 11) are from Duke Lemur Center, North Carolina who participated in a touchscreen (SMARTA) color vision research. We measured the frequencies of the subjects using their hands when manipulating SMARTA based on videos recorded during color vision trials. From these data, we calculated a Handedness Index (HI) and tested individuals for left or right hand preference using chi-squared goodness of fit tests. 5 subjects are left hand lateralized and 6 subjects are right hand lateralized based on their HI. We found that 55% of our Varecia spp. exhibited a population level right hand preference when performing cognitive tasks (X2(1,N=11) = 48.53, p < 0.001). These results differ from previous hand preference studies in ruffed lemur, although the right hand preference might be task related.