Tracking the displacement of objects: A series of tasks with great apes (Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, Gorilla gorilla, and Pongo pygmaeus) and young children (Homo sapiens)

Jochen Barth*, Josep Call

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors administered a series of object displacement tasks to 24 great apes and 24 30-month-old children (Homo sapiens). Objects were placed under I or 2 of 3 cups by visible or invisible displacements. The series included 6 tasks: delayed response, inhibition test, A not B, rotations, transpositions, and object permanence. Apes and children solved most tasks performing at comparable levels except in the transposition task, in which apes performed better than children. Ape species performed at comparable levels in all tasks except in single transpositions, in which chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) performed better than gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and orangutans (Pongo pygmeatis). All species found nonadjacent trials and rotations especially difficult. The number of elements that changed locations, the type of displacement, and having to inhibit predominant reaching responses were factors that negatively affected the subjects' performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Event14th Biennial Conference of the International-Society-on-Infant-Studies - Chicago, Israel
Duration: 1 May 2004 → …

Keywords

  • object permanence
  • inhibition
  • transpositions
  • rotations
  • spatial memory
  • PARROT PSITTACUS-ERITHACUS
  • INVISIBLE DISPLACEMENT
  • SPATIAL COGNITION
  • PERMANENCE
  • SEARCH
  • INFANTS
  • MONKEYS
  • MEMORY
  • TRANSPOSITIONS
  • BEHAVIOR

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