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Plasma cortisol is associated with handedness in infant rhesus monkeys

, : Plasma cortisol is associated with handedness in infant rhesus monkeys. Developmental Psychobiology 38(2): 116-122, March

In this research we examined the relationship between plasma cortisol and handedness in infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that stress functioning is related to hemispheric specialization and manifested in a positive correlation between cortisol levels and the frequency of right- versus left- hand use. We found a significant positive relationship between cortisol levels sampled at ages 1 and 3 months and lateral bias toward greater use of the right hand versus left hand sampled between ages 4 and 11 months. Further, we found a significant negative relationship between cortisol sampled at age 5 months and strength of lateral bias (independent of direction). These data suggest an early developmental influence of stress functioning on hemispheric specialization for manual control in infant monkeys.


PMID: 11223804

DOI: 10.1002/1098-2302(200103)38:2<116::aid-dev1004>;2-r

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