The Evolution of Social Cognition: Goal Familiarity Shapes Monkeys' Action Understanding

@article{Rochat2008TheEO,
  title={The Evolution of Social Cognition: Goal Familiarity Shapes Monkeys' Action Understanding},
  author={Magali Rochat and Elisabetta Serra and Luciano Fadiga and Vittorio Gallese},
  journal={Current Biology},
  year={2008},
  volume={18},
  pages={227-232}
}

Figures from this paper

Monkeys represent others' knowledge but not their beliefs.
TLDR
Across three studies, macaques' pattern of results is consistent with the view that monkeys can represent the knowledge and ignorance of others, but not their beliefs, and the capacity to represent beliefs may be a unique hallmark of human cognition.
Do Domestic Dogs Understand Human Actions as Goal-Directed?
TLDR
Results provide the first evidence that a non-primate species can perceive another individual’s actions as goal-directed, and discuss results in terms of the prevailing mentalisitic and non-mentalistic hypotheses regarding goal-attribution.
Humans but Not Chimpanzees Vary Face-Scanning Patterns Depending on Contexts during Action Observation
TLDR
Comparisons of face-scanning patterns of chimpanzees and humans as they viewed goal-directed human actions within contexts that differ in whether or not the predicted goal is achieved suggest that in humans, but not chimpanzees, attention to actor’s faces conveying referential information toward the target object indicates the process of observers making inferences about the intentionality of an action.
Title Humans but Not Chimpanzees Vary Face-Scanning PatternsDepending on Contexts during Action Observation
TLDR
Comparisons of face-scanning patterns of chimpanzees and humans as they viewed goal-directed human actions within contexts that differ in whether or not the predicted goal is achieved suggest that in humans, but not chimpanzees, attention to actor’s faces conveying referential information toward the target object indicates the process of observers making inferences about the intentionality of an action.
Humans and chimpanzees attend differently to goal-directed actions.
TLDR
Comparing the eye movements of 8- and 12-month-old human infants, adults and chimpanzees as they watched videos presenting goal-directed and non-goal-directed actions by an actor indicates that humans have a predisposition to observe goal- directed actions by integrating information from the actor.
Evolving the capacity to understand actions, intentions, and goals.
TLDR
Evidence from a series of studies showing that monkeys and apes-like humans-extract the meaning of an event is presented, providing support for a teleological theory, rooted in an inferential process that extracts information about action means, potential goals, and the environmental constraints that limit rational action.
Motor cognition and its role in the phylogeny and ontogeny of action understanding.
TLDR
The functional properties of the mirror neuron system and its direct matching mechanism indicate that action understanding may be primarily based on the motor cognition that underpins one's own capacity to act, providing a biologically plausible and theoretically unitary account for the phylogeny and ontogeny of action understanding and also its impairment, as in the case of autistic spectrum disorder.
Rhesus monkeys show human-like changes in gaze following across the lifespan
TLDR
It is found that monkeys began to follow gaze in infancy and this response peaked in the juvenile period—suggesting that younger monkeys were especially attuned to gaze information, like humans.
Perspectives: The Looking Time Experimental Paradigm in Studies of Animal Visual Perception and Cognition
TLDR
The history of use of looking time measures is described, an overview of the problems and controversies related to this method are provided, and recommendations on how to implement looking time tasks are offered, focusing on the preparation of stimuli, experimental procedures, and data analysis.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 50 REFERENCES
Rhesus Monkeys Attribute Perceptions to Others
The Perception of Rational, Goal-Directed Action in Nonhuman Primates
TLDR
It is shown that cotton-top tamarins, rhesus macaques, and chimpanzees all make spontaneous inferences about a human experimenter's goal by attending to the environmental constraints that guide rational action.
The mirror-neuron system.
TLDR
A neurophysiological mechanism appears to play a fundamental role in both action understanding and imitation, and those properties specific to the human mirror-neuron system that might explain the human capacity to learn by imitation are stressed.
What young chimpanzees know about seeing.
  • D. Povinelli, T. Eddy
  • Psychology, Biology
    Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
  • 1996
TLDR
The findings provide little evidence that young chimpanzees understand seeing as a mental event and demonstrate that, even though young chimpanzee subjects spontaneously attend to and follow the visual gaze of others, they simultaneously appear oblivious to the attentional significance of that gaze.
Reflections of other minds: how primate social cognition can inform the function of mirror neurons
How monkeys see the eyes: cotton-top tamarins’ reaction to changes in visual attention and action
Among social species, the capacity to detect where another individual is looking is adaptive because gaze direction often predicts what an individual is attending to, and thus what its future actions
Taking the intentional stance at 12 months of age
From the perception of action to the understanding of intention
TLDR
Evidence that biological motion is processed as a special category, to which humans from an early age attribute mental states such as intention is reviewed, to support the idea that the brain is a powerful simulating machine, designed to extract intentions from the motion and to predict the future actions of other animate beings.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...