Making inferences about the location of hidden food: Social dog, causal ape

Juliane Brauer*, Juliane Kaminski, Julia Riedel, Josep Call, Michael Tomasello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and great apes from the genus Pan were tested on a series of object choice tasks. In each task, the location of hidden food was indicated for subjects by some kind of communicative, behavioral, or physical cue. On the basis of differences in the ecologies of these 2 genera, as well as on previous research, the authors hypothesized that dogs should be especially skillful in using human communicative cues such as the pointing gesture, whereas apes should be especially skillful in using physical, causal cues such as food in a cup making noise when it is shaken. The overall pattern of performance by the 2 genera strongly supported this social-dog, causal-ape hypothesis. This result is discussed in terms of apes' adaptations for complex, extractive foraging and dogs' adaptations, during the domestication process, for cooperative communication with humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume120
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • CHIMPANZEES PAN-TROGLODYTES
  • EXPERIMENTER-GIVEN CUES
  • OBJECT-CHOICE TASKS
  • ORANGUTANS PONGO-PYGMAEUS
  • FOLLOW GAZE DIRECTION
  • COMMUNICATIVE SIGNS
  • CANIS-FAMILIARIS
  • SPECIES FOLLOW
  • HUMAN CHILDREN
  • HOMO-SAPIENS

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