Document Detail

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) fail a what-where-when task but find rewards by using a location-based association strategy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21359204     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recollecting the what-where-when of an episode, or episodic-like memory, has been established in corvids and rodents. In humans, a linkage between remembering the past and imagining the future has been recognised. While chimpanzees can plan for the future, their episodic-like memory has hardly been investigated. We tested chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with an adapted food-catching paradigm. They observed the baiting of two locations amongst four and chose one after a given delay (15 min, 1 h or 5 h). We used two combinations of food types, a preferred and a less preferred food that disappeared at different rates. The subjects had to base their choices on the time elapsed since baiting, and on their memory of which food was where. They could recover either their preferred food or the one that remained present. All animals failed to obtain the preferred or present foods above chance levels. They were like-wise unsuccessful at choosing baited cups above chance levels. The subjects, thus, failed to use any feature of the baiting events to guide their choices. Nonetheless, their choices were not random, but the result of a developed location-based association strategy. Choices in the second half of the study correlated with the rewards obtained at each location in the first half of the study, independent from the choices made for each location in the first half of the study. This simple location-based strategy yielded a fair amount of food. The animals' failure to remember the what-where-when in the presented set-up may be due to the complexity of the task, rather than an inability to form episodic-like memories, as they even failed to remember what was where after 15 minutes.
Marusha Dekleva; Valérie Dufour; Han de Vries; Berry M Spruijt; Elisabeth H M Sterck
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-02-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-03-01     Completed Date:  2011-09-01     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e16593     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning / physiology*
Choice Behavior / physiology
Feeding Behavior / physiology,  psychology
Food Preferences
Memory / physiology*
Models, Biological
Pan troglodytes / physiology*,  psychology
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Space Perception / physiology*
Task Performance and Analysis

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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