Postnatal development of lateralized motor preference in the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).
The parrot appears to provide a potentially unique animal model of handedness in humans, but few (if any) observational studies of early postnatal development of postural/motor asymmetries have been published. We studied three African Grey hatchlings, raised without human physical contact, for the first 5 months of life. All three animals failed to show consistent postural and/or motor asymmetries until the end of the 4 postnatal week. These results appear to be comparable to data from prior studies with human infants. Delayed development of lateral motor and/or postural preferences may represent an evolutionarily adaptive strategy for altricial animals.