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Laterality in Cats: Paw Preference And Performance in a Visuomotor Activity

Fabre-Thorpe, M ; Fagot, J ; Lorincz, E ; Levesque, F ; Vauclair, J

Cortex, March 1993, Vol.29(1), pp.15-24 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Laterality in Cats: Paw Preference And Performance in a Visuomotor Activity
  • Author/Creator: Fabre-Thorpe, M ; Fagot, J ; Lorincz, E ; Levesque, F ; Vauclair, J
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
  • Is Part Of: Cortex, March 1993, Vol.29(1), pp.15-24
  • Description: Laterality in paw use was investigated over a period of 6 years in 44 domestic cats trained to perform a reaching movement toward a moving spot of light. Both paw preference and paw performance were recorded. At a 50 percent criterion, no significant paw preference was found at the level of the group. When a 90 percent criterion was considered, 23 subjects had a significant preference for one paw. Among these strongly lateralized animals, there were more left- (N =17) than right-pawed (N = 6) cats. The analysis of visuo-motor performances included reaction time, movement time, and reaching accuracy. Lateralized cats had a faster reaction time than nonlateralized cats. The more-used paw had a shorter reaction time, a shorter movement time, and was also more accurate than the less-used paw. Thus, the findings demonstrate a functional advantage of being lateralized. Moreover, the results confirm the existence of an asymmetry of paw preference in cats and show a consistent relation between paw preference and performance.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0010-9452 ; E-ISSN: 1973-8102 ; DOI: 10.1016/S0010-9452(13)80208-0