EurekaMag.com logo
+ Site Statistics
References:
52,725,316
Abstracts:
28,411,598
+ Search Articles
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
EurekaMag Most Shared ContentMost Shared
EurekaMag PDF Full Text ContentPDF Full Text
+ PDF Full Text
Request PDF Full TextRequest PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter
Follow on Google+Follow on Google+
Follow on LinkedInFollow on LinkedIn

+ Translate

Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens)






Animal Cognition 8(3): 164-181

Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens)

This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to 4-year-old children observed a human demonstrator use a tool to retrieve a reward from a puzzle-box. The demonstration involved both causally relevant and irrelevant actions, and the box was presented in each of two conditions: opaque and clear. In the opaque condition, causal information about the effect of the tool inside the box was not available, and hence it was impossible to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant parts of the demonstration. However, in the clear condition causal information was available, and subjects could potentially determine which actions were necessary. When chimpanzees were presented with the opaque box, they reproduced both the relevant and irrelevant actions, thus imitating the overall structure of the task. When the box was presented in the clear condition they instead ignored the irrelevant actions in favour of a more efficient, emulative technique. These results suggest that emulation is the favoured strategy of chimpanzees when sufficient causal information is available. However, if such information is not available, chimpanzees are prone to employ a more comprehensive copy of an observed action. In contrast to the chimpanzees, children employed imitation to solve the task in both conditions, at the expense of efficiency. We suggest that the difference in performance of chimpanzees and children may be due to a greater susceptibility of children to cultural conventions, perhaps combined with a differential focus on the results, actions and goals of the demonstrator.


Accession: 038054216

PMID: 15549502

DOI: 10.1007/s10071-004-0239-6



Related references

Horner, V.; Whiten, A., 2005: Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan trogiodytes) and children (Homo sapiens). This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to...

Potì, P.; Hayashi, M.; Matsuzawa, T., 2009: Spatial construction skills of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young human children (Homo sapiens sapiens). Spatial construction tasks are basic tests of visual-spatial processing. Two studies have assessed spatial construction skills in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens sapiens) with a block modelling task. Study 1a subject...

Vale, G.L.; Flynn, E.G.; Lambeth, S.P.; Schapiro, S.J.; Kendal, R.L., 2015: Public information use in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens). The discernment of resource quality is pertinent to many daily decisions faced by animals. Public information is a critical information source that promotes quality assessments, attained by monitoring others' performance. Here we provide the...

Herrmann, E.; Tomasello, M., 2016: Focusing and shifting attention in human children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Humans often must coordinate co-occurring activities, and their flexible skills for doing so would seem to be uniquely powerful. In 2 studies, we compared 4- and 5-year-old children and one of humans' nearest relatives, chimpanzees, in their...

Neldner, K.; Collier-Baker, E.; Nielsen, M., 2015: Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human children (Homo sapiens) know when they are ignorant about the location of food. Over the last decade, the metacognitive abilities of nonhuman primates and the developmental emergence of metacognition in children have become topics of increasing research interest. In the current study, the performance of three adult chimpanzee...

Call, J., 2001: Object permanence in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and children (Homo sapiens). Juvenile and adult orangutans (n = 5; Pongo pygmaeus), chimpanzees (n = 7; Pan troglodytes), and 19- and 26-month-old children (n = 24; Homo sapiens) received visible and invisible displacements. Three containers were presented forming a straight...

Collier-Baker, E.; Suddendorf, T., 2006: Do chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and 2-year-old children (Homo sapiens) understand double invisible displacement?. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens) have difficulty with double invisible displacements in which an object is hidden in two nonadjacent boxes in a linear array. Experiment 1 eliminated the possibility that chimpanzees&a...

Nagell, K.; Olguin, R.S.; Tomasello, M., 1993: Processes of social learning in the tool use of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and human children (Homo sapiens). Common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and 2-year-old human children (Homo sapiens) were presented with a rakelike tool and a desirable but out-of-reach object. One group of subjects observed a human demonstrator use the tool in one way, and another...

Whiten, A.; Custance, D.M.; Gomez, J.C.; Teixidor, P.; Bard, K.A., 1996: Imitative learning of artificial fruit processing in children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Observational learning in chimpanzees and young children was investigated using an artificial fruit designed as an analog of natural foraging problems faced by primates. Each of 3 principal components could be removed in 2 alternative ways, demons...

Poss, S.R.; Rochat, P., 2004: Referential understanding of videos in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), and children (Homo sapiens). Performance on identical search tasks based on cues directly perceived or indirectly perceived through video were compared among a group of 4 adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), a group of 2 adult orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), and a group of 36 ch...