József Topál

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The present investigations were undertaken to compare interspecific communicative abilities of dogs and wolves, which were socialized to humans at comparable levels. The first study demonstrated that socialized wolves were able to locate the place of hidden food indicated by the touching and, to some extent, pointing cues provided by the familiar human(More)
Since the observations of O. Pfungst the use of human-provided cues by animals has been well-known in the behavioural sciences (“Clever Hans effect”). It has recently been shown that rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) are unable to use the direction of gazing by the experimenter as a cue for finding food, although after some training they learned to respond to(More)
Despite earlier scepticism there is now evidence for simple forms of intentional and functionally referential communication in many animal species. Here we investigate whether dogs engage in functional referential communication with their owners. “Showing” is defined as a communicative action consisting of both a directional component related to an external(More)
The ability of animals to use behavioral/facial cues in detection of human attention has been widely investigated. In this test series we studied the ability of dogs to recognize human attention in different experimental situations (ball-fetching game, fetching objects on command, begging from humans). The attentional state of the humans was varied along(More)
Ten-month-old infants persistently search for a hidden object at its initial hiding place even after observing it being hidden at another location. Recent evidence suggests that communicative cues from the experimenter contribute to the emergence of this perseverative search error. We replicated these results with dogs (Canis familiaris), who also commit(More)
Dogs have a remarkable skill to use human-given cues in object-choice tasks, but little is known to what extent their closest wild-living relative, the wolf can achieve this performance. In Study 1, we compared wolf and dog pups hand-reared individually and pet dogs of the same age in their readiness to form eye-contact with a human experimenter in an(More)
Dogs' (Canis familiaris) and cats' (Felis catus) interspecific communicative behavior toward humans was investigated. In Experiment 1, the ability of dogs and cats to use human pointing gestures in an object-choice task was compared using 4 types of pointing cues differing in distance between the signaled object and the end of the fingertip and in(More)
In a series of 3 experiments, dogs (Canis familiaris) were presented with variations of the human pointing gesture: gestures with reversed direction of movement, cross-pointing, and different arm extensions. Dogs performed at above chance level if they could see the hand (and index finger) protruding from the human body contour. If these minimum(More)
Dogs' ability to recognise cues of human visual attention was studied in different experiments. Study 1 was designed to test the dogs' responsiveness to their owner's tape-recorded verbal commands (Down!) while the Instructor (who was the owner of the dog) was facing either the dog or a human partner or none of them, or was visually separated from the dog.(More)
In spite of the rather different procedures actually used in comparative studies to test the ability of different species to rely on the human pointing gesture, there is no debate on the high performance of dogs in such tasks. Very little is known, however, on the course through which they acquire this ability or the probable factors influencing the(More)