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Chimpanzees (Pan spp.) were tested on a habituation/dishabituation paradigm that was originally developed to test for comprehension of causality in very young human infants. Three versions of the test were used: a food item being moved by a hand, a human pushing another human off a chair to obtain a food item, and a film clip of natural chimpanzee behaviour (capturing and eating a monkey). Chimpanzees exhibited similar results to those obtained with human infants, with significantly elevated levels of looking on the dishabituation trials. Since the level of response was significantly greater on natural/unnatural sequences than on unnatural/natural sequences, we conclude that the chimpanzees were not responding just to novelty but rather to events that infringed their sense of natural causation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s10071-004-0231-1

Type

Journal article

Journal

Anim Cogn

Publication Date

01/2005

Volume

8

Pages

60 - 66

Keywords

Animals, Association Learning, Awareness, Concept Formation, Female, Habituation, Psychophysiologic, Male, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Perception