Vanessa Schmitt

Learn More
Apes use inferential reasoning by exclusion to locate food both in the visual and auditory domain. To test whether olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) show similar abilities as the apes object choice experiments with differing information about food located in 1 of 2 cups were conducted in the visual and auditory modality. Although all baboons (N = 7)(More)
Understanding the evolution of intelligence rests on comparative analyses of brain sizes as well as the assessment of cognitive skills of different species in relation to potential selective pressures such as environmental conditions and social organization. Because of the strong interest in human cognition, much previous work has focused on the comparison(More)
A range of animal species possess an evolutionarily ancient system for representing number, which provides the foundation for simple arithmetical operations such as addition and numerical comparisons. Surprisingly, non-human primates tested in ecologically, highly valid quantity discrimination tasks using edible items often show a relatively low(More)
Nearly 90% of humans are right-handed, raising the question of the evolutionary origins of this trait. While lateralisation of certain actions appears to be widespread in vertebrates, the question of whether nonhuman primates exhibit hand preferences at the population level is often contested. We observed Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) living in the(More)
Whether the cognitive competences of monkeys and apes are rather similar or whether the larger-brained apes outperform monkeys in cognitive experiments is a highly debated topic. Direct comparative analyses are therefore essential to examine similarities and differences among species. We here compared six primate species, including humans, chimpanzees,(More)
Social comparisons are a fundamental characteristic of human behaviour, yet relatively little is known about their evolutionary foundations. Adapting the co-acting paradigm from human research (Seta in J Pers Soc Psychol 42:281–291, 1982. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.42.2.281 ), we examined how the performance of a partner influenced subjects’ performance in(More)
Methodological variations in experimental conditions can strongly influence animals' performances in cognitive tests. Specifically, the procedure of the so-called object-choice task has been controversially discussed; here, a human experimenter indicates the location of hidden food by pointing or gazing at one of two or more containers. Whereas dogs usually(More)
Quantity discrimination abilities are seen in a diverse range of species with similarities in performance patterns, suggesting common underlying cognitive mechanisms. However, methodological factors that impact performance make it difficult to draw broad phylogenetic comparisons of numerical cognition across studies. For example, some Old World monkeys(More)
  • 1