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Information seeking about tool properties in great apes

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Abstract

Evidence suggests that great apes engage in metacognitive information seeking for food items. To support the claim that a domain-general cognitive process underlies ape metacognition one needs to show that selective information seeking extends to non-food items. In this study, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and orangutans (Pongo abelii) either had to determine the location of a desired food item or a property of a non-food item (length of a tool). We manipulated whether subjects received prior information about the item’s location or property. During the test, subjects had the opportunity to seek the respective information. Results show that apes engaged in more information seeking when they had no prior knowledge. Importantly, this selective pattern of information seeking applied to food as well as to tools.
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Original languageEnglish
Article number10923
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Metacognition, Tool use, Information seeking, Primate cognition, Great Apes

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