Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chimps, Like Humans, Focus On Faces

Date:
July 28, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
A chimp's attention is captured by faces more effectively than by bananas. A series of experiments suggests that the apes are wired to respond to faces in a similar manner to humans.

A chimp's attention is captured by faces more effectively than by bananas.
Credit: iStockphoto/Warwick Lister-Kaye

A chimp's attention is captured by faces more effectively than by bananas. A series of experiments suggests that the apes are wired to respond to faces in a similar manner to humans.

Masaki Tomonaga and Tomoko Imura from the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University, Japan, tested the effects of a series of different images on chimps' reaction times. Tomonaga said, "It is well known that faces are processed in a different manner from other types of complex visual stimuli. Recent studies of face perception in humans clarified that faces represent special stimuli with regard to visuospatial attention as well. That is, they are able to capture our attention. We've shown that chimps share this tendency to notice and pay attention to faces in preference to other objects."

The researchers gave chimps the option of playing a game for food. If the chimps chose to, they could approach a computer screen where an image would be displayed, followed by a target. If the chimps pressed the target, they would receive a reward. In one set of experiments, the image was displayed on one side of the screen followed by the target either on the same side or the previously blank side. Reaction times were shown to improve when the target appeared behind the image. The chimps were then presented with two images side by side, one of which was a chimpanzee face. When the target appeared behind the face, reaction times were better than when it appeared behind the other object – showing that attention had indeed been drawn to the face-side of the screen.

Chimpanzee faces were shown to attract attention more effectively than bananas and other objects such as flowers, houses or trains. This effect was reduced when the faces were inverted, suggesting that it is the specific configuration of an upright face that catches the eye. According to Tomonaga, "This attentional capture was also observed when upright human faces were presented, indicating that this effect is not limited to their own species".


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Masaki Tomonaga and Tomoko Imura. Faces capture the visuospatial attention of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): evidence from a cueing experiment. Frontiers in Zoology, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Chimps, Like Humans, Focus On Faces." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722191208.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, July 28). Chimps, Like Humans, Focus On Faces. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722191208.htm
BioMed Central. "Chimps, Like Humans, Focus On Faces." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722191208.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
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