Methodology of motor skill and laterality: New test of hand preference in Macaca nemestrina

Marco M. Rigamonti*, Emanuela Prato Previde, Marco D. Poli, Linda F. Marchant, William C. McGrew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Ten female pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) were tested for hand preference and hand skill (i.e., speed of performance and error rate). The experimental task was naturalistic, calling for adaptive manual skills and fine manipulation: the monkeys had to remove small food rewards embedded in a vertical array, and precision opposition of thumb and forefinger was needed to extract each pellet. Each monkey was tested 10 times on 10 different days. The results indicated individual hand preference rather than population-level handedness; however, a tendency toward right predominance was found. The results on hand skill showed a relation between error rate and hand preference, as the preferred hand made fewer errors. A different and unexpected finding was obtained when skill was evaluated in terms of speed of performance: in adult subjects the left hand was quicker than the right. Therefore, different kinds of skill showed different patterns in relation to hand preference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-705
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 1998


  • Behavioural lateralization
  • Handedness
  • Manual preference
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Pig-tailed macaque


Dive into the research topics of 'Methodology of motor skill and laterality: New test of hand preference in Macaca nemestrina'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this