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 April 19, 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 April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. 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