Document Detail

Monkeys represent others' knowledge but not their beliefs.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22010899     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The capacity to reason about the false beliefs of others is classically considered the benchmark for a fully fledged understanding of the mental lives of others. Although much is known about the developmental origins of our understanding of others' beliefs, we still know much less about the evolutionary origins of this capacity. Here, we examine whether non-human primates - specifically, rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) - share this developmental achievement. We presented macaques with a looking-time measure of false belief understanding, one that had recently been developed for use with 15-month-old human infants. Like human infants, monkeys look longer when a human experimenter fails to search in the correct location when she has accurate knowledge. In contrast to infants, however, monkeys appear to make no prediction about how a human experimenter will act when she has a false belief. Across three studies, macaques' pattern of results is consistent with the view that monkeys can represent the knowledge and ignorance of others, but not their beliefs. The capacity to represent beliefs may therefore be a unique hallmark of human cognition.
Drew C W Marticorena; April M Ruiz; Cora Mukerji; Anna Goddu; Laurie R Santos
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-08-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental science     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1467-7687     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Sci     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-20     Completed Date:  2012-02-13     Revised Date:  2014-10-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814574     Medline TA:  Dev Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1406-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Evolution*
Cognition / physiology*
Macaca mulatta / physiology*
Theory of Mind / physiology*
Time Factors
Video Recording
Grant Support
1R01MH-089484/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; CM-5-P40RR003640-13/CM/NCI NIH HHS; R01 MH089484/MH/NIMH NIH HHS; R01 MH096875/MH/NIMH NIH HHS

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