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Great apes think ahead
Date:6/18/2008

l tool more often and took it to the reward room later on, where they used it appropriately, demonstrating that they selected the tool based on its functional properties. According to the authors, this indicates that the apes were pre-experiencing a future event i.e. visualizing the use of the new tool to extract the fruit soup.

One of the decisive experiments excluded associative learning* as an explanation of the results. Associative learning has been suggested to account for the findings in previous planning studies on animals (corvids and great apes), and therefore the previous studies have not been generally accepted as evidence for non-human planning.

Taken together these results strongly suggest that great apes engage in planning for the future. The authors conclude that "the results of this study entail that capacities central to humans evolved much earlier than previously believed."


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Contact: Melanie Lehnert
melanie.lehnert@springer.com
49-622-148-78414
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

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