A new study shows that Santino’s innovativeness when he plans his stone-throwing is greater than researchers have previously observed. He not only gathers stones and manufactures projectiles in advance; he also finds innovative ways of fooling the visitors. The study, which was carried out at Lund University, has been published in PLoS One.
The new study looked at the chimpanzee’s ability to carry out complex planning. The case study shows how humans’ closest relatives in the animal kingdom appear to be able to plan to deceive others, and that they can also plan their deception inventively. The behaviour of the chimpanzee Santino is of particular interest because it is done while the humans to be deceived are out of sight.That means that the chimpanzee can plan without having immediate perceptual feedback of his goal – the visitors to the zoo – to aid in his planning.
The subject of the study is Santino the chimpanzee, who achieved international fame in 2009 for his habit of gathering stones and manufacturing concrete projectiles to throw at visitors from the safety of his enclosure at Furuvik Zoo north of Stockholm. His behaviour was reported as an example of spontaneous planning for a future event, in which his psychological state was visibly quite different from that of his subsequent aggressive displays. Previously, such cognitive abilities had been widely believed to be restricted to humans.
The new study sought to collect more detailed data on Santino’s projectile-throwing behaviour over the course of the 2010 zoo season.
In the new study, the chimpanzee continued and extended his previous behaviour of caching projectiles for later use in aggressive throwing displays. The new behaviour involved innovative use of concealments: both naturally occurring ones and ones he manufactured from hay. All were placed near the visitors’ area. This allowed Santino to throw his missiles before the crowd had time to back away.
The first hay concealment was made after the zoo guide had repeatedly backed visitors away when the chimpanzee made throwing attempts. All concealments were made when the visitors were out of sight, and the hidden projectiles were used when they returned. In order to make the hay concealments the chimpanzee had bring the hay from the inside enclosure.
Over the course of the season, the researchers observed that the use of concealments became the chimpanzees preferred strategy. Moreover, Santino combined two deception strategies consistently: hiding projectiles and inhibiting the displays of dominance that otherwise preceded his throws.
The new findings suggest that chimpanzees may be able to represent the future behaviour of others while those others are not present. It is also critical that the chimpanzee’s initial behaviour produced a future event, rather than merely preparing for one that had reliably occurred before. This in turn, suggest a flexible planning ability which, in humans, relies on creative re-combining of memories, mentally acted out in a ‘what if’ future scenario.
The authors of the study are Mathias Osvath, from the Department of Cognitive Science at Lund University, and Elin Karvonen, from the University’s Primate Research Station. The article is entitled ‘Spontaneous innovation for future deception in a male chimpanzee’ and has appeared in the journal PLoS One, published by the Public Library of Science.The corresponding author, Mathias Osvath, can be reached on:
IHelga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Exciting Plant Vacuoles
14.06.2019 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
A microscopic topographic map of cellular function
13.06.2019 | University of Missouri-Columbia
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.
Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...
Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.
Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
14.06.2019 | Information Technology
14.06.2019 | Materials Sciences
14.06.2019 | Medical Engineering