[Paleopsych] animals and pain
guavaberry at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 9 03:08:51 UTC 2005
then on another note:
just how stupid are these people? - do we really need
to spend money on tests like these ?
Is this the fate of all people who have a total
disconnect from their oral tradition?
Aren't there stories from the ages that tell
how smart the monkey is?
what the f*-k
From: "Ian Pitchford" <ian.pitchford at scientist.com>
Subject: Rhesus monkeys can assess the visual perspective of others when
competing for food
Public release date: 7-Mar-2005
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Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman at cell.com
Rhesus monkeys can assess the visual perspective of others when competing
Researchers Jonathan Flombaum and Dr. Laurie Santos, both from Yale
University, have found that rhesus monkeys consider whether a competitor
can or cannot see them when trying to steal food.
Working with semi-free-ranging rhesus monkeys on the island of Cayo
Santiago in Puerto Rico, Flombaum and Santos set up a food competition
game: Lone monkeys were approached by two human "competitors." Each
competitor had a grape affixed to a platform by his feet. In each
experiment, one of the competitors could see the monkey in front of them,
but the other could not. For example, in Experiment 1, one of the
competitors stood with his back to the monkey subject, while the other
stood facing the subject. Monkeys in this experiment spontaneously chose to
approach and steal a grape from only the competitor with his back toward
the monkey. In five more experiments, the monkeys revealed similar
preferences for an experimenter who could not see them, rather than one who
could. Most notably, they reliably stole food from a competitor with only
his eyes averted, rather than one facing perfectly forward, as well as an
experimenter with a piece of cardboard over his eyes rather than one with
cardboard over his mouth. Together, these results reveal not only that
rhesus monkeys prefer to steal food from a competitor who cannot see them,
but also that they know exactly how blocking or averting one's eyes can
render one unable to see. Thus, even without any training, these monkeys
were able to accurately consider the visual perspective of others when
deciding from whom to steal.
In previous studies, rhesus monkeys (and other primates) were thought to do
no more than merely follow the gaze of others. Primates have typically
failed in other, noncompetitive experiments that require surmising what
other individuals know or see from where they are looking. In one famous
case, for example, rhesus monkeys were unable to find food under a hidden
location when the human experimenter who hid the food preferentially looked
at the hidden location. These results suggest that competition-like
situations may bring out the primates' abilities more than experiments that
don't involve competition.
These latest results, however, suggest that rhesus monkeys can do much more
than just follow the gaze of others; they can also deduce what others see
and know, based only on their perception of where others are looking. These
data potentially push back the time during which our own abilities to "read
the minds of others" must have evolved. Moreover, they suggest strongly a
reason why these abilities may have evolved in the first place, namely for
competitive interactions with others. Finally, these results lay the
groundwork for investigating the neural basis for this kind of social
reasoning in a readily available laboratory animal - an urgent endeavor for
developing a better neural understanding of diseases such as autism, in
which this kind of social reasoning appears impaired.
Jonathan I. Flombaum and Laurie R. Santos: "Rhesus Monkeys Attribute
Perceptions to Others"
The other members of the research team include Jonathan I. Flombaum and
Laurie R. Santos from Yale University. This research was supported by a
National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship to J.I.F. and the
Yale University Moore Fund grant to L.R.S. The Cayo Santiago Field Station
was supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Center for
Research Resources grant CM-5-P40RR003640-13 award to the Caribbean Primate
Research Center) and the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.
Publishing in Current Biology, Volume 15, Number 5, March 8, 2005, pages
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