Document Detail

Perception of food amounts by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): the role of magnitude, contiguity, and wholeness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19839704     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The authors investigated choice behavior by chimpanzees in five experiments involving choices between different amounts of food. Chimpanzees did not maximize the amount of food they obtained when choosing between a single 20-g banana piece and another option containing a 20-g piece and a 5-g piece. This was true even though they successfully discriminated between 20-g and 25-g banana pieces in other trials. When items in the mixed option were stacked, however, the chimpanzees chose the larger amount. Later experiments indicated that changing the magnitude of the two amounts did not change performance if the difference in magnitude between the two options remained the same (e.g., 40 g plus 10 g vs. 40 g). However, chimpanzees did improve when the two-item option was increased in its magnitude relative to the single slice (e.g., 20 g plus 10 g vs. 20 g). These results indicated that chimpanzees undervalued the total amount of food in sets when items differed in size and did not appear to be whole. Another experiment confirmed that it was this notion of wholeness that evoked suboptimal responding because chimpanzees were successful in the same comparisons with a different type of food that appeared less fractionated when presented as two pieces. These results provide evidence of suboptimal responding in some natural choice situations that prevents chimpanzees from maximizing food intake.
Michael J Beran; Theodore A Evans; Chasity L Ratliff
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  35     ISSN:  1939-2184     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-10-20     Completed Date:  2010-01-05     Revised Date:  2014-09-08    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  516-24     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Choice Behavior / physiology*
Concept Formation / physiology*
Pan troglodytes / physiology*
Problem Solving / physiology
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Visual Perception / physiology*
Grant Support
HD-38051/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-060006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-070006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-080006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-090006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-100006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; P01 HD038051-10S10006/HD/NICHD NIH HHS

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

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