Navigation Links
Do monkeys know what others need?
Date:4/12/2012

If you have seen a child just eat an entire ice-cream, and she begs you to buy her one, what will your reaction be?

Here we ask if monkeys understand the physical needs of others. In order to provide help or share food, it would be useful for them to know what others want or need. Such understanding is probably simpler than an understanding of the other's state of knowledge, known as Theory-of-Mind (ToM). Sensitivity to wants and needs appears earlier than ToM in the development of children. While there is some evidence for ToM in the great apes, such as chimpanzees, monkeys are rarely tested on intersubjectivity (empathy with and understanding of others) since the common assumption is that they are behavior-readers rather than mind-readers, i.e. that they merely react to another's behavior. They may not make any inferences about the internal states of others.

The present study, published in Behaviour, questions this assumption, however, since it shows that brown capuchin monkeys (a large-brained South-American primate) are less willing to share with another if they know that the other has just eaten. This condition was compared with one in which they saw the other not eat or in which the other's interactions with food were obscured from view. The specific withholding reaction of the monkeys suggests that they understood that a monkey who has just eaten does not need any more food. Alternative hypotheses were considered, but the most important one -- that they merely reacted to the behavior or food motivation of the other -- could be excluded thanks to a control condition in which the other had eaten out of view. Under this condition, they readily shared with them. The study provides the first tentative evidence for "empathetic perspective-taking" in primates.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr. Frans de Waal
dewaal@emory.edu
Brill
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Antibodies help protect monkeys from HIV-like virus, NIH scientists show
2. Experimental treatment protects monkeys from lethal Ebola virus post-exposure
3. Vaginal gel with integrase inhibitor shows promise in monkeys
4. Experimental vaccine protects monkeys against chikungunya
5. Baby monkeys receive signals through their mothers breast milk
6. Like humans, monkeys fall into the uncanny valley
7. Bolivian rainforest study suggests feeding behavior in monkeys and humans have ancient, shared roots
8. Montreal researchers repel mortality in Malian mothers
9. MIT neuroscientists explore how longstanding conflict influences empathy for others
10. Research highlights key role grandmothers play in mother and child nutrition and health
11. Allen Institute for Brain Science launches new atlas, adds new data and tools to others
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... DUBLIN , April 27, 2016 ... of the  "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report ... ) , The analysts forecast ... a CAGR of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... a number of sectors such as the healthcare, ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- A person commits a crime, and the detective uses ... criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes ... uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that caused ... not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge technology ... Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to announce ... Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the Peel ... President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: