Are gorillas right-handed or not?

W. C. McGrew*, L. F. Marchant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative data on laterality of function in primates are useful for elucidating its evolution, including its link to asymmetry of cerebral structure. Recently the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla, Pongidae) has been nominated as the other hominoid species closest to Homo sapiens in terms of handedness. This study aims to scrutinise the 22 accounts of gorillas' hand preferences. Numerous shortcomings exist in the published literature on the topic, so that a firm conclusion is not yet possible. It is not yet clear whether gorillas are right-preferent, left-preferent, or ambi-preferent, and additional data are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993


  • gorilla
  • Gorilla gorilla
  • handedness
  • laterality


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