Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Monkeys can point to objects they do not report seeing

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Are monkeys, like humans, able to ascertain where objects are located without much more than a sideways glance? Quite likely, says the lead author of a new study. The study finds that monkeys are able to localize stimuli they do not perceive.

Rhesus macaque. Are monkeys, like humans, able to ascertain where objects are located without much more than a sideways glance?
Credit: © Eric Isselιe / Fotolia

Are monkeys, like humans, able to ascertain where objects are located without much more than a sideways glance? Quite likely, says Lau Andersen of the Aarhus University in Denmark, lead author of a study conducted at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, published in Springer's journal Animal Cognition. The study finds that monkeys are able to localize stimuli they do not perceive.

Humans are able to locate, and even side-step, objects in their peripheral vision, sometimes before they perceive the object even being present. Andersen and colleagues therefore wanted to find out if visually guided action and visual perception also occurred independently in other primates.

The researchers trained five adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to perform a short-latency, highly stereotyped localization task. Using a touchscreen computer, the animals learned to touch one of four locations where an object was briefly presented. The monkeys also learned to perform a detection task using identical stimuli, in which they had to report the presence or absence of an object by pressing one of two buttons. These techniques are similar to those used to test normal humans, and therefore make an especially direct comparison between humans and monkeys possible. A method called "visual masking" was used to systematically reduce how easily a visual target was processed.

Andersen and his colleagues found that the monkeys were still able to locate targets that they could not detect. The animals performed the tasks very accurately when the stimuli were unmasked, and their performance dropped when visual masking was employed. But monkeys could still locate targets at masking levels for which they reported that no target had been presented. While these results cannot establish the existence of phenomenal vision in monkeys, the discrepancy between visually guided action and detection parallels the dissociation of conscious and unconscious vision seen in humans."Knowing whether similar independent brain systems are present in humans and nonverbal species is critical to our understanding of comparative psychology and the evolution of brains," explains Andersen.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Andersen, L.M. et al. Dissociation of visual localization and visual detection in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Animal Cognition, 2013 DOI: 10.1007/s10071-013-0699-7

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Monkeys can point to objects they do not report seeing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119131442.htm>.
Springer. (2013, November 19). Monkeys can point to objects they do not report seeing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119131442.htm
Springer. "Monkeys can point to objects they do not report seeing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119131442.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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