Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Imitative learning by captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in a simulated food-processing task

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

TS Stoinski, JL Wrate, N Ure, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Although field studies have suggested the existence of cultural transmission of foraging techniques in primates, identification of transmission mechanisms has remained elusive. To test experimentally for evidence of imitation in the current study, we exposed gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to an artificial fruit foraging task designed by A. Whiten and D. M. Custance (1996). Gorillas (n = 6) watched a human model remove a series of 3 defenses around a fruit. Each of the defenses was removed using 1 of 2 alternative techniques. Subsequent video analysis of gorillas' behavior showed a significant tendency to copy the observed technique on 1 of the individual defenses and the direction of removal on another defense. This is the first statistically reliable evidence of imitation in gorillas. Sequence of defense removal was not replicated. The gorillas' responses were most similar to those of chimpanzees.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001

    Research areas

  • CHIMPANZEES PAN-TROGLODYTES

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. The reach of gene-culture coevolution in animals

    Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R. & Whiten, A., 3 Jun 2019, In : Nature Communications. 10, 10 p., 2405.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Animal cultures matter for conservation

    Brakes, P., Dall, S. R. X., Aplin, L. M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E. L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J. K. B., Garland, E. C., Keith, S. A., McGregor, P. K., Mesnick, S. L., Noad, M. J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M. M., Simmonds, M. P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P. R., Whiting, M. J. & 5 others, Williams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C., 8 Mar 2019, In : Science. 363, 6431, p. 1032-1034 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. ‘Over-imitation’: a review and appraisal of a decade of research

    Hoehl, S., Keupp, S., Schleihauf, H., McGuigan, N., Buttelmann, D. & Whiten, A., Mar 2019, In : Developmental Review. 51, p. 90-108

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Conformity and over-imitation: an integrative review of variant forms of hyper-reliance on social learning

    Whiten, A., 14 Jan 2019, Advances in the Study of Behavior. Elsevier, (Advances in the Study of Behavior).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Josep Call (Member of editorial board)
    2017 → …

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

  2. Journal of Comparative Psychology (Journal)

    Josep Call (Editor)
    20112017

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

  3. 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. 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 journalArticle

  2. 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 journalArticle

  3. Behavioral conservatism is linked to complexity of behavior in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): implications for cognition and cumulative culture

    Davis, S. J., Schapiro, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., Wood, L. A. & Whiten, A., 19 Jul 2018, In : Journal of Comparative Psychology. Advance Online

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Monkeys (Sapajus apella and Macaca tonkeana) and great apes (Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus, Pongo abelii, Pan paniscus and Pan troglodytes) play for the highest bid

    Broihanne, M. -H., Romain, A., Call, J., Thierry, B., Wascher, C. A. F., De Marco, A., Verrier, D. & Dufour, V., 27 Dec 2018, In : Journal of Comparative Psychology. Online First, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) communicate need, which elicits donation of food

    Schweinfurth, M. K. & Taborsky, M., May 2018, In : Journal of Comparative Psychology. 132, 2, p. 119-129

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 162946

Top