Navigation Links
Like humans, monkey see, monkey plan, monkey do
Date:12/6/2007

How many times a day do you grab objects such as a pencil or a cup? We perform these tasks without thinking, however the motor planning necessary to grasp an object is quite complex. The way human adults grasp objects is typically influenced more by their knowledge of what they intend to do with the objects than the objects' immediate appearance. Psychologists call this the end-state comfort effect, when we adopt initially unusual, and perhaps uncomfortable, postures to make it easier to actually use an object.

For example, waiters will pick up an inverted glass with their thumb pointing down if they plan to pour water into the glass. While grabbing thumb-down may feel awkward at first, it allows the waiter to be more comfortable when the glass is turned over and water poured inside.

Does this occur because motor planning abilities were crucial in facilitating the evolution of complex tool use in humans? If so, then is this something that other animals, non-tool users, would do?

Pennsylvania State University psychologists, Dan Weiss, Jason Wark, and David Rosenbaum decided to see if cotton-top tamarins (non-tool users) would show the end-state comfort effect. In the first experiment, Weiss and colleagues presented the monkeys with a small cup containing a marshmallow. The cup was either suspended upright or upside down. Would these monkeys, a non-tool using species, adopt an unusual grasping pattern while removing the cup from the apparatus to retrieve the marshmallow?

The results, which appear in the December issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, are fascinating. The monkeys grabbed the inverted cup with their thumb pointing down, thereby behaving much like human adults. In the second experiment, the monkeys were confronted with a new handle shape and still displayed grasps that were consistent with end-state comfort.

This research is the first to provide evidence for more sophisticated motor planning than has previously been attributed to a nonhuman species. The authors suggest that formulating relatively long-term motor plans is a necessary but not sufficient condition for tool use. Our results may be taken to suggest that the reason tamarins dont use tools in the wild is not that they lack the ability to plan ahead, but rather that the scope of their planning is limited, say the researchers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-783-2077
Association for Psychological Science  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Monkeys use baby talk to interact with infants
2. Influence of sex and handedness on brain is similar in capuchin monkeys and humans
3. Humans and monkeys share Machiavellian intelligence
4. Penn researchers find monkeys able to fend off AIDS-like symptoms with enhanced HIV vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Like humans, monkey see, monkey plan, monkey do
(Date:1/4/2017)... LAS VEGAS , Jan. 4, 2017  For the thousands of ... , a global leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and ... pressure monitors. On display in A&D Medical,s special CES ... monitors represent the ongoing expansion of the company,s WellnessConnected product ... ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 2016 The rising popularity of mobility ... is stoking significant interest in keyless access systems. ... low energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field communication (NFC) ... of wireless technologies in the automotive industry. This ... access systems opens the market to specialist companies ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... NEW YORK , Dec. 16, 2016 The global ... reach USD 12.14 billion by 2021 from USD 5.31 billion in ... ... market is mainly driven by technological advancements in medical devices, launch ... devices, rising preference for wireless connectivity among healthcare providers, and increasing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... FireflySci has been busy rolling out ... diverse customer base. The latest entry in this field is a series of ... Bio-Rad. FireflySci is introducing three distinct varieties including a 10x1mm, 10x2 and 10x4 ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , ... January 12, 2017 ... ... devices with short response times capable of performing routine electrochemical biosensing has ... screen-printed electrodes provide fast, sensitive detection and quantification of various analytes in ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... Jan. 12, 2017   Protein Sciences Corporation ... of Flublok Influenza Vaccine ®, announced today ... had good safety results and induced strong neutralizing ... The product is expected to advance into human ... addition, the Institute of Technology in Immunobiologicals of ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... January 11, 2017 , ... Phase 1 clinical trial data ... the investigational anti-cancer agent tucatinib (formerly ONT-380) against HER2+ breast cancer. The 50 ... of these heavily pretreated patients saw clinical benefit from the drug, with at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: