Document Detail

Great apes use weight as a cue to find hidden food.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21069784     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Bonobos (Pan paniscus; n = 5), orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii; n = 6), and a gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla; n = 1) were presented with two opaque cups, one empty and one baited (containing two bananas). Subjects had to independently gain weight information about the contents of the cups to find the hidden food. Six apes attained above chance level within a total of 16 trials. Successful subjects spontaneously adopted the method of successively lifting the cups and thus comparing their weight before making a choice. Prior to testing, these apes had participated in a weight discrimination task. To rule out that a subject's good performance was influenced by previous experience in weight experiments, we ran a second test in which the same task was presented to a group of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes; n = 9) who were naïve to weight experiments. These subjects also participated in an additional test condition in which the same problem was presented based on learning to associate arbitrary visual stimuli. The results show that experience did not affect performance because the nine naïve subjects were equally able to find the food when the task stimuli held a causal relation (i.e. weight indicates the hidden food). Interestingly, only one of the naïve subjects solved the task when the task elements held an arbitrary relation (i.e. certain visual pattern indicates food). Our results confirm previous findings that apes perform better in problems grounded on causal compared to arbitrary relations. Am. J. Primatol. 71:1-12, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Cornelia Schrauf; Josep Call
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2010-11-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of primatology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1098-2345     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-11-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108949     Medline TA:  Am J Primatol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
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