Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) encode relevant problem features in a tool-using task

NJ Mulcahy*, J Call, RIM Dunbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two important elements in problem solving are the abilities to encode relevant task features and to combine multiple actions to achieve the goal. The authors investigated these 2 elements in a task in which gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) had to use a tool to retrieve an out-of-reach reward. Subjects were able to select tools of an appropriate length to reach the reward even when the position of the reward and tools were not simultaneously visible. When presented with tools that were too short to retrieve the reward, subjects were more likely to refuse to use them than when tools were the appropriate length. Subjects were proficient at using tools in sequence to retrieve the reward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume119
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

Keywords

  • CHIMPANZEES PAN-TROGLODYTES

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