Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nurtured Chimps Rake It In

Date:
June 18, 2007
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Human interaction and stimulation enhance chimpanzees' cognitive abilities, according to new research. The study is the first to demonstrate that raising chimpanzees in a human cultural environment enhances their cognitive abilities, as measured by their ability to understand how tools work.

Human interaction and stimulation enhance chimpanzees’ cognitive abilities, according to new research from the Chimpanzee Cognition Center at The Ohio State University. The study (1) is the first to demonstrate that raising chimpanzees in a human cultural environment enhances their cognitive abilities, as measured by their ability to understand how tools work.

The scientists compared three groups of chimpanzees: one with a history of long-term stable, social interaction with humans (‘enculturated’); a group raised in a sanctuary setting, with only caretaker contact with humans (‘semi-enculturated’); and another group raised under more austere captive conditions (laboratory chimpanzees). The experiments looked at how the chimpanzees used rakes in order to retrieve a fruit yoghurt reward. The overall study examined not only whether the chimpanzees understood the properties of the tool, but also whether they understood the reasons why the tool worked.

The researchers gave the animals access to small rakes with either a rigid wooden head or a flimsy fabric head. Both enculturated and semi-enculturated chimpanzees correctly chose the rigid rake which enabled them to obtain the reward, indicating that both of these groups understood the physical properties of the two different rakes.

The researchers then presented the same two groups with two identical ‘hybrid’ rakes. Each rake head had a rigid side made of wood (functional) and another side made of flimsy cloth (non-functional). The reward was placed in front of the rigid side of one rake, and in front of the flimsy side of the second rake. The animals who picked the rake with the food reward on the rigid side demonstrated that they understood the causal principles behind the functionality of the rake.

The enculturated chimpanzees successfully selected the functional rake, while the sanctuary chimpanzees chose randomly between the two hybrid tools. The captive laboratory chimpanzees failed both tests, as demonstrated in previously published work(2).

According to Dr. Sarah Boysen, who led the study, “We think our findings mean that the conditions under which chimpanzees are raised, housed, and maintained have long-term effects on their cognitive development, and offer direct comparisons with early experience, issues of attachment, and preschool education for human infants and children,”

The authors conclude that the differences in performance between the three groups are directly attributable to the significant effect of level of enculturation. They add that “enculturated chimpanzees may be better at learning within a highly social, interactive context because they have heightened attention to the actions of others.”

1.Furlong EE, Boose KJ, Boysen ST (2007). Raking it in: the impact of enculturation on chimpanzee tool use. Animal Cognition DOI 10.1007/s10071-007-0091-6

2.Povinelli DJ (2000). Folk physics for apes: the chimpanzee’s theory of how the world works. Oxford University Press, New York.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Nurtured Chimps Rake It In." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613120858.htm>.
Springer. (2007, June 18). Nurtured Chimps Rake It In. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613120858.htm
Springer. "Nurtured Chimps Rake It In." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613120858.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins