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Handedness is associated with immune functioning and behavioural reactivity in rhesus macaques

Handedness is associated with immune functioning and behavioural reactivity in rhesus macaques

Laterality 7(4): 359-369

In the present study we examined the relationship among handedness, immune functioning, and behavioural reactivity in rhesus macaques. We used the absolute number of CD4+ (T-helper) and CD8+ (T-suppressor) cells as dependent measures of immune functioning. We derived reactivity profiles from behavioural responses to a threat, and hand preference profiles from a quadrupedal food-reaching test. The results indicate positive correlations between the frequency of right versus left hand reaches and the absolute number of CD4+ cells, and between the frequency of right versus left hand reaches and the degree of human-directed aggression in response to an invasive threat. Immune measures were not associated with the strength of hand preference. These results are consistent with and extend previous findings obtained with rodents to nonhuman primates and provide further support for the view that behavioural lateralisation is associated with immune functioning and behavioural reactivity.

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Accession: 049187100

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PMID: 15513210

DOI: 10.1080/13576500143000230

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