Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) conceal visual and auditory information from others.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) competed with a human for food. The human sat inside a booth, with 1 piece of food to her left and 1 to her right, which she could retract from her chimpanzee competitor's reach as needed. In Experiment 1, chimpanzees could approach either side of the booth unseen but then had to reach through 1 of 2 tunnels (1 clear, 1 opaque) for the food. In Experiment 2, both tunnels were clear and the human was looking away, but 1 of the tunnels made a loud noise when it was opened. Chimpanzees preferentially reached through the opaque tunnel in the first study and the silent tunnel in the second, successfully concealing their taking of the food from the human competitor in both cases. These results suggest that chimpanzees can, in some circumstances, actively manipulate the visual and auditory perception of others by concealing information from them.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Melis, AP; Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • May 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 120 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 154 - 162

PubMed ID

  • 16719594

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2087

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0735-7036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0735-7036.120.2.154


  • eng