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J Comp Psychol. 1990 Sep;104(3):203-10.

Inferences about guessing and knowing by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520.

Abstract

The visual perspective-taking ability of 4 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) was investigated. The subjects chose between information about the location of hidden food provided by 2 experimenters who randomly alternated between two roles (the guesser and the knower). The knower baited 1 of 4 obscured cups so that the subjects could watch the process but could not see which of the cups contained the reward. The guesser waited outside the room until the food was hidden. Finally, the knower pointed to the correct cup while the guesser pointed to an incorrect one. The chimpanzees quickly learned to respond to the knower. They also showed transfer to a novel variation of the task, in which the guesser remained inside the room and covered his head while the knower stood next to him and watched a third experimenter bait the cups. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that chimpanzees are capable of modeling the visual perspectives of others.

PMID:
2225758
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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