Navigation Links
Rhesus monkeys can assess the visual perspective of others when competing for food

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 wh o 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 447?52. http://www.current-biology.com


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Rhesus monkeys in Nepal may provide new alternative for HIV/AIDS research
2. Gambling monkeys give insight into neural machinery of risk
3. Logging changed ecological balance for monkeys, damaged health
4. Performing monkeys in Asia carry viruses that could jump species to humans
5. Genetic and environmental influences on alcohol consumption among rhesus monkeys
6. Executive monkeys influenced by other executives, not subordinates
7. Vaccine combined with short-term postexposure antibiotics protects monkeys from inhalational anthrax
8. Implanting dopamine generators in brain cells obtains improvement in Parkinsons in monkeys
9. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
10. UCLA study assesses cost-effectiveness of Hepatitis B drugs
11. NIEHS launches website with information for assessing environmental hazards from Hurricane Katrina
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 Perimeter ... Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the global ... market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware technologies ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , ... published the overview results from the Q1 wave of ... recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where ... with a health insurance company. "We were ... share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the ... future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
Breaking Biology Technology: