Chimpanzees Form Long-Term Memories for Food Locations After Limited Exposure

Natacha Mendes*, Josep Call

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Remembering the location of fruiting trees for extended periods of time has been hypothesized to play a major role in the evolution of primate cognition. Such ability would be especially useful when paired with a fast learning mechanism capable of consolidating long-term memory after minimal exposure. We investigated whether chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) can remember different food locations after minimal exposure (i.e., 1-2 trials) both after 24hr and after 3-month. We released pairs of chimpanzees in their indoor enclosure (the enclosure of group A measured 430m(2) and group B's measured 175m(2)) and tested them for four consecutive days (Baseline, Test, Retest, and Post-test). During the Test and Retest food was hidden in the same location whereas no food was hidden during the Baseline and Post-test days (control trials). Subjects were tested with four different locations and assessed for their retention after 24hr and 3-month since the initial food discovery. Results revealed that chimpanzees accurately remembered the locations in which they found the food after one or two exposures to them, and both after 24hr and a 3-month retention interval. Am. J. Primatol. 76:485-495, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-495
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Volume76
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • long-term memory
  • limited exposure
  • retention interval
  • chimpanzees
  • GORILLA-GORILLA-GORILLA
  • JAYS APHELOCOMA-COERULESCENS
  • WILD CAPUCHIN MONKEYS
  • EPISODIC-LIKE MEMORY
  • SPATIAL MEMORY
  • FORAGING TASK
  • SCRUB JAYS
  • NUCIFRAGA-COLUMBIANA
  • CLARKS NUTCRACKER
  • PAN-TROGLODYTES

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