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Dr Gillian Forrester - Hand and Mouth: What motor laterality reveals about the origins of human language

The Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour seminar series. All welcome.

Event details


The investigation of modern human cognitive function requires a dual perspective because the evolution and development of language processes are inextricably linked. It is widely accepted that humans demonstrate population-level right-handedness, linked with dominant left hemisphere control of language processes. However, a species-unique, causal relationship is debated. Language features such as simple syntactic structures and hierarchical organisation may derive from behaviours inherited from a last common ancestor of humans and apes. A shared history of left cerebral dominance for hand and mouth motor articulation may explain why humans and great apes express population-level right hand dominance for the production of gesture and the manipulation of objects. The following presentation will focus on recent behavioural evidence from great apes and children.

Dr Gillian Forrester from University of Westminster, will be giving a seminar with the title 'Hand and Mouth: What motor laterality reveals about the origins of human language'.

The CRAB seminar series is organised by Elisa Frasnelli (


Washington Singer 105