Abstract # 5840 Poster # 44:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


E. R. Boeving1, A. Lacreuse2, W. D. Hopkins3,4, K. A. Phillips5,6, M. A. Novak2 and E. L. Nelson7
1Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60614, USA, 2Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, 3Neuroscience Institute and Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA , 4Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, 5Department of Psychology, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX., 6Southwest National Primate Research Center, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, 7Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, FL.
     Intermanual transfer refers to an effect whereby training one hand to perform a motor task improves performance in the opposite untrained hand. We tested the hypothesis that handedness facilitates intermanual transfer in two species: rhesus monkeys (N=13) and chimpanzees (N=51). Subjects were randomized to test conditions using a 2 x 2 (Handedness: left-handed or right-handed x Training: dominant or non-dominant hand) design. Intermanual transfer was measured using the bent-wire task where subjects removed a Life Saver candy (monkeys) or a washer (chimpanzees) from metal shapes. Transfer was measured with latency by comparing the average time taken to solve the task in the first session with the training hand compared to the first session with the untrained hand. Intermanual transfer occurred regardless of whether monkeys trained with the dominant hand (DOM: t(5)=3.110, p<.05) or the non-dominant hand (NDOM: t(6)=4.867, p<.01). However, intermanual transfer was only observed in chimpanzees that trained with the dominant hand (DOM: t(28)=3.269, p<.01; NDOM: p>.05). When handedness groups were compared separately, the effect of intermanual transfer only remained significant for right-handed chimpanzees, t(34)=3.200, p<.01. These results may be related to neurophysiological differences in motor control as well as differences in handedness patterning between rhesus monkeys and chimpanzees. Supported by grants NS-070717-01 (K.A.P.) and NS-42867 and HD-60563 (W.D.H.).