[MARMAM] New publication on dolphin lateralization

Kelly Jaakkola kelly at dolphins.org
Tue Dec 29 09:26:24 PST 2020

Dear All,

We are placed to announce our new publication:

Jaakkola, K., Loyer, C., Guarino, E., Donegan, K., & McMullen, C. 
(2021). Do dolphins really have a rightward lateralization for action? 
The importance of behavior-specific and orientation-neutral coding. 
Behavioural Brain Research, 401, 113083.


Because each side of the vertebrate body is controlled by a different 
side of the brain, studies of behavioral lateralization can provide 
insight into functional cerebral asymmetries in humans and other 
animals. The current study examined behavioral lateralization for a 
variety of behaviors in a group of 26 dolphins, in order to assess the 
claim that cetaceans show strong rightward action asymmetries indicative 
of a left-hemisphere specialization for action. We distinguished between 
side asymmetries and whole body turning actions, and devised a new 
coding system to counter the problem that previous studies of rolling 
behaviors (i.e., rotations around the long axis) have used contradictory 
coding systems depending on species' typical orientation. Our results 
did not support a generalized population-level rightward action 
asymmetry across multiple behaviors. Instead, we suggest that many 
dolphin behavioral asymmetries may be better explained as a result of 
perceptual processing asymmetries common across many vertebrates.

You can access the paper here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2020.113083

Or email me directly for a copy: kelly at dolphins.org

-- Kelly

/Kelly Jaakkola, PhD
Director of Research, Dolphin Research Center
Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks 
and Aquariums
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