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:11/30/2016)... and WARSAW, Poland , Nov. 30, 2016 ... is one of the most crucial aspects of recovery so we need to do ... serious health risks, including heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. ... friends sleep and find a Christmas present that could help them to manage their ... ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... 2016 Nearly one billion matches per second with ... ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest ... Identity Management. (PRNewsFoto/DERMALOG Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG is Germany's largest Multi-Biometric supplier: The company's Fingerprint Identification System ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... Minn. , Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Medical LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards ... award caps off an unprecedented year of recognition and ... trials for over 15 years. iMedNet ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: SQIDF), today ... fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. ... , , SQI ... company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for advanced ... revenues of $1.4 million more than tripling prior years revenue. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Superior Controls, ... solutions, today announced the company has successfully completed its 50th consecutive audit. ... control systems integration services to leading companies in life sciences, food and beverage, ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... DIEGO , Dec. 6, 2016  Creative Medical ... Kesari , MD, PhD, FANA, FAAN to the Company,s ... neurology and clinical trials to assist the Company,s clinical ... stroke. The AmnioStem product is a universal donor stem cell ... activity in animal models of stroke 1 .  ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the validated monoclonal ... the direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms of Amyloid beta (Aß) in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: