Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) conceal visual and auditory information from others

Alicia P. Melis*, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) competed with a human for food. The human sat inside a booth, with I piece of food to her left and 1 to her right, which she could retract from her chimpanzee competitor's reach as needed. In Experiment 1, chimpanzees could approach either side of the booth unseen but then had to reach through 1 of 2 tunnels (1 clear, 1 opaque) for the food. In Experiment 2, both tunnels were clear and the human was looking away, but 1 of the tunnels made a loud noise when it was opened. Chimpanzees preferentially reached through the opaque tunnel in the first study and the silent tunnel in the second, successfully concealing their taking of the food from the human competitor in both cases. These results suggest that chimpanzees can, in some circumstances, actively manipulate the visual and auditory perception of others by concealing information from them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume120
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Keywords

  • deception
  • concealment
  • competition
  • Pan troglodytes
  • visual perspective
  • auditory perception
  • FOLLOW GAZE DIRECTION
  • YOUNG CHIMPANZEES
  • SPECIES FOLLOW
  • SOCIAL CUES
  • CONSPECIFICS
  • MONKEYS
  • ATTENTION
  • BARRIERS
  • HUMANS
  • MINDS

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