Evolution of behavioural and brain asymmetries in primates

William D. Hopkins and Jacques Vauclair

in The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199541119
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Evolution of behavioural and brain asymmetries in primates

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This article reviews several studies on the behavioral and neuroanatomical asymmetries in non-human primates pertaining to the production of communicative behaviors. Hopkins and his team have reported population-level right-handedness for interspecies manual gestures associated with the request for food from a human. Meguerditchian and co-workers examined handedness for a variety of manual gestures during inter and intra-species communication in captive chimpanzees and found that the apes were significantly right-handed for all gesture types. Hauser reported that the left side of the face began to display facial expressions earlier than the right side for open-mouth threat and fear grimace in rhesus monkeys. Hauser and Akre examined the onset of mouth-opening asymmetries in rhesus monkeys during the production of several types of vocalizations. Hook-Costigan and Rogers showed that common marmosets displayed a larger left hemi-mouth during the production of fear expressions, including those that were or were not accompanied by a vocalization. Fernandez-Carriba with co-workers reported significant left orofacial asymmetries for several facial expressions including hooting, plays, silent-bared teeth, and scream face. Losin's team assessed orofacial asymmetries for four facial expressions associated with vocalizations in chimpanzees including hooting, food-barks, extended food grunts, and raspberries. Losin has found that food-barks and hoots were expressed more intensely on the left side of the face whereas extended food grunts and raspberries were expressed more intensely on the right side.

Keywords: behavioral asymmetries; neuroanatomical asymmetries; non-human primates; left orofacial asymmetries; facial expressions

Article.  4326 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Evolution ; Cognitive Linguistics

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