Chimpanzees know that others make inferences.

Published

Journal Article

If chimpanzees are faced with two opaque boards on a table, in the context of searching for a single piece of food, they do not choose the board lying flat (because if food was under there it would not be lying flat) but, rather, they choose the slanted one- presumably inferring that some unperceived food underneath is causing the slant. Here we demonstrate that chimpanzees know that other chimpanzees in the same situation will make a similar inference. In a back-and-forth foraging game, when their competitor had chosen before them, chimpanzees tended to avoid the slanted board on the assumption that the competitor had already chosen it. Chimpanzees can determine the inferences that a conspecific is likely to make and then adjust their competitive strategies accordingly.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schmelz, M; Call, J; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • February 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 108 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 3077 - 3079

PubMed ID

  • 21282649

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21282649

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1000469108

Language

  • eng