Leading-limb preferences in marmosets (Callithrix jacchus): walking, leaping and landing. Academic Article uri icon


  • The leading-limb preferences of 17 common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) when they initiated and terminated locomotion were determined from video recordings of the subjects walking on, leaping off, and landing on a plexiglas platform. In a majority of sequences, 11 of 17 subjects landed with the right hand and foot contacting the plexiglas substrate before the left hand and foot. Of the 17 subjects, 8 initiated leaping with the right side of the body, whereas only 3 subjects significantly preferred to initiate leaping with the left hand and foot. Leading-limb preferences displayed during landing were positively correlated with those displayed for leaping and walking, although only two subjects displayed significant leading-limb preferences when walking. By contrast, hand preferences for initiating and terminating locomotion were not related to hand preferences for food holding; 16 of 17 marmosets displayed strong and significant hand preferences for food holding, even though many did not show leading-limb preferences for walking, leaping, or landing. These data seem to suggest that the right arm is stronger in marmosets. The right arm is used initially to decelerate the body and absorb the impact of contact with the landing substrate. The tendency for the right arm to be stronger is balanced by a tendency for the left leg to be stronger (providing the force needed for leaping).

published proceedings

  • Laterality

author list (cited authors)

  • Hook, M. A., & Rogers, L. J

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Hook, MA||Rogers, LJ

publication date

  • April 2002