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Handedness in Neandertals from the El Sidrón (Asturias, Spain): Evidence from instrumental striations with ontogenetic inferences

AutorEstalrrich, Almudena ; Rosas, Antonio
Fecha de publicación6-may-2013
EditorPublic Library of Science
CitaciónPLoS ONE 8(5): e62797 (2013)
ResumenThe developed cognitive capabilities for Homo sapiens seems to be the result of a specialized and lateralized brain, and as a result of this, humans display the highest degree of manual specialization or handedness among the primates. Studies regarding its emergence and distribution within the genus Homo show that handedness is present very early. The mode in which it was articulated and spread across the different species during the course of human evolution could provide information about our own cognitive capacities. Here we report the manual laterality attributed to eleven 49,000 old Neandertal individuals from El Sidrón cave (Spain), through the study of instrumental or cultural striations on the anterior dentition. Our results show a predominant pattern addressed to right-handers. These results fit within the modern human handedness distribution pattern and provide indirect evidence for behavior and brain lateralization on Neandertals. They support the early establishment of handedness in our genus. Moreover, the individual identified as Juvenile 1 (6–8 years old at death), displays the same striation pattern as the adult Neandertals from the sample, and thereby the ontogenic development of manual laterality in that Neandertal population seems to be similar to that of living modern humans.
DescripciónReceived: February 28, 2013; Accepted: March 25, 2013; Published: May 6, 2013
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0062797
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/127317
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0062797
E-ISSN1932-6203
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