Skip to main content

To move or not to move: How apes adjust to the attentional state of others

Buy Article:

$25.56 plus tax (Refund Policy)

A previous observational study suggested that when faced with a partner with its back turned, chimpanzees tend to move around to the front of a non-attending partner and then gesture — rather than gesturing once to attract attention and then again to convey a specific intent. We investigated this preference experimentally by presenting six orangutans, five gorillas, nine chimpanzees, and four bonobos with a food begging situation in which we varied the body orientation of an experimenter (E) with respect to the subject (front vs. back) and the location of the food (in front or behind E). These manipulations allowed us to measure whether subjects preferred to move around to face E or to use signals to attract her attention before they begged for food. Results showed that all species moved around to face E and then produced visual gestures, instead of using tactile/ auditory gestures behind E to call her attention. Species differences were apparent particularly when the food and E were in different locations. Unlike gorillas and orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos (from genus Pan) produced their gestures in front of E in all conditions, including that in which subjects had to leave the food behind to communicate with her. Implications of these results are discussed in the context of the evolution of social cognition in great apes.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Great apes; evolution; gesture; social cognition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany 2: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Publication date: 2004-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more