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 Isselée / 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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. 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