Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Dogs (Canis familiaris) account for body orientation but not visual barriers when responding to pointing gestures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Author(s)

Evan L. MacLean, Christopher Krupenye, Brian Hare

School/Research organisations

Abstract

In a series of four experiments we investigated whether dogs use information about a human's visual perspective when responding to pointing gestures. While there is evidence that dogs may know what humans can and cannot see, and that they flexibly use human communicative gestures, it is unknown if they can integrate these two skills. In Experiment 1 we first determined that dogs were capable of using basic information about a human's body orientation (indicative of her visual perspective) in a point following context. Subjects were familiarized with experimenters who either faced the dog and accurately indicated the location of hidden food, or faced away from the dog and (falsely) indicated the unbaited container. In test trials these cues were pitted against one another and dogs tended to follow the gesture from the individual who faced them while pointing. In Experiments 2-4 the experimenter pointed ambiguously toward two possible locations where food could be hidden. On test trials a visual barrier occluded the pointer's view of one container, while dogs could always see both containers. We predicted that if dogs could take the pointer's visual perspective they should search in the only container visible to the pointer. This hypothesis was supported only in Experiment 2. We conclude that while dogs are skilled both at following human gestures, and exploiting information about others' visual perspectives, they may not integrate these skills in the manner characteristic of human children.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-297
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume128
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

    Research areas

  • Cognition, Dog, Perspective taking, Pointing, Theory of mind

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by journal

  1. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Manon Karin Schweinfurth (Member of editorial board)

    1 Jan 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Josep Call (Member of editorial board)

    2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Josep Call (Editor)

    20112017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Andrew Whiten (Member of editorial board)

    2001 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Chimpanzees’ (Pan troglodytes) internal arousal remains elevated if they cannot themselves help a conspecific

    Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Kano, F., Albiach-Serrano, A., Benziad, L., Call, J. & Tomasello, M., 14 Dec 2020, In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. Advance online

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. The strategies used by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens) to solve a simple coordination problem

    Duguid, S., Wyman, E., Grueneisen, S. & Tomasello, M., 21 May 2020, In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. Online First, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Bargaining in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): the effect of cost, amount of gift, reciprocity and communication

    Bueno-Guerra, N., Voelter, C. J., de las Heras, Á., Colell, M. & Call, J., 27 Jun 2019, In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. Online First

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. Machiavellian Intelligence retrospective

    Byrne, R. W., 18 Nov 2018, In: Journal of Comparative Psychology. 132, 4, p. 432-436 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 252600820

Top