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Child Dev. 2005 Jan-Feb;76(1):291-306.

Intentionality as measured in the persistence and elaboration of communication by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

Author information

1
Psychology Department, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex, UK. davidl@sussex.ac.uk

Abstract

In human infancy, 2 criteria for intentional communication are (a) persistence in and (b) elaboration of communication when initial attempts to communicate fail. Twenty-nine chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were presented with both desirable (a banana) and undesirable food (commercial primate chow). Three conditions were administered: (a) the banana was delivered (successful communication), (b) half of the banana was delivered (partially successful communication), and (c) the chow was delivered (failed communication). The chimpanzees exhibited persistence in and elaboration of their communication in every condition except when the banana was delivered. Thus, their communication was about a specific item, demonstrating that both intentionality and nonverbal reference are capacities shared by humans with our nearest living relatives, the great apes.

PMID:
15693773
PMCID:
PMC2043155
DOI:
10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00845.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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