Eye tracking uncovered great apes' ability to anticipate that other individuals will act according to false beliefs

Fumihiro Kano, Christopher Krupenye, Satoshi Hirata, Josep Call

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using a novel eye-tracking test, we recently showed that great apes anticipate that other individuals will act according to false beliefs. This finding suggests that, like humans, great apes understand others' false beliefs, at least in an implicit way. One key question raised by our study is why apes have passed our tests but not previous ones. In this article, we consider this question by detailing the development of our task. We considered three major differences in our task compared to the previous ones. First, we monitored apes' eye movements, and specifically their anticipatory looks, in order to measure their predictions about how agents will behave. Second, we adapted our design from an anticipatory-looking false belief test originally developed for human infants. Third, we developed novel test scenarios that were specifically designed to capture the attention of our ape participants. We then discuss how each difference may help explain differences in performance on our task and previous ones, and finally propose some directions for future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1299836
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Volume10
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Anticipatory look
  • Eye-tracking
  • False belief
  • Great ape
  • Theory of Mind

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