Cerebral lateralization determines hand preferences in Australian parrots

Culum Brown*, Maria Magat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Individual preference for the use of one limb over the other to explore the environment or manipulate objects is common trait among vertebrates. Here, we explore the hypothesis that limb preference is determined by the engagement of a particular cerebral hemisphere to analyse certain stimuli.We recorded the eye and foot preferences of 322 individuals from 16 species of Australian parrots while investigating potential food items. Across all species, eye preferences explained 99 per cent of the variation in foot use in Australian parrots. The vast majority of species showed significant relationships between eye and foot preferences at the population level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-498
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2011


  • eye preference
  • handedness
  • laterality
  • cognition


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