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Scientific article
Open access
English

Laterality in cats: paw preference and performance in a visuomotor activity

Published inCortex, vol. 29, no. 1, p. 15-24
Publication date1993-03
Abstract

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.

eng
Keywords
  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Cats
  • Choice Behavior
  • Functional Laterality
  • Male
  • Motion Perception
  • Motivation
  • Orientation
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
FABRE-THORPE, M et al. Laterality in cats: paw preference and performance in a visuomotor activity. In: Cortex, 1993, vol. 29, n° 1, p. 15–24. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(13)80208-0
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ISSN of the journal0010-9452
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