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Genetic Influence on the Expression of Hand Preferences in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Evidence in Support of the Right-Shift Theory and Developmental Instability

William D. Hopkins, Jeremy F. Dahl and Dawn Pilcher
Psychological Science
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Jul., 2001), pp. 299-303
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063635
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Genetic Influence on the Expression of Hand Preferences in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Evidence in Support of the Right-Shift Theory and Developmental Instability
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Abstract

Genetic mechanisms have been proposed to explain the pervasive representation of right-handedness in humans, whereas random, nongenetic factors have been posited to explain the lack of population-level right-handedness in nonhuman primates. We report evidence that hand preferences in chimpanzees are heritable, even among related individuals raised in different environments. Furthermore, we report that the degree of heritability is modified by factors associated with developmental instability, notably, offspring parity. The data are interpreted to reconcile both genetic models for handedness and hypotheses suggesting that developmental instability influences variation in handedness.

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