A Capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) recognizes when people do and do not know the location of food


In a previous study, Kuroshima and colleagues demonstrated that capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) learned to discriminate between a “knower” who inspected a box for food, and a “guesser” who did not. The aim of the present study was to specify whether the subjects learned a simple conditional discrimination or a causal relationship that seeing leads to knowing. In experiment 1, we introduced five types of novel containers to two subjects. Each container was of different shape and color. The subjects gradually learned to reach toward the container the knower suggested. In experiment 2, we diversified the behavior of the knower and the guesser. In experiment 3, in order to eliminate the possibility of discrimination based on differences in the magnitude and the complexity of two trainers, we equated their behaviors. One subject adapted to the novel behaviors of the knower and the guesser, successfully discriminating the two trainers. Thus this monkey clearly learned to use the inspecting action of the knower and the non-inspecting action of the guesser as a discriminative cue to recognize the baited container. This result suggests that one capuchin monkey learned to recognize the relationship between seeing and knowing.

DOI: 10.1007/s10071-003-0184-9

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@article{Kuroshima2003ACM, title={A Capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) recognizes when people do and do not know the location of food}, author={Hika Kuroshima and Kazuo Fujita and Ikuma Adachi and Kana Iwata and Akira Fuyuki}, journal={Animal Cognition}, year={2003}, volume={6}, pages={283-291} }