Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chimps can plan 'future deception': study, Times Live


Chimps can plan 'future deception': study

Times LIVE | 01 June, 2012 13:25
Common chimpanzee in the Leipzig Zoo.
Image by: Thomas Lersch / Wikimedia Commons

Chimps are able to not simply deceive, but plan for future deception according to a study.

The study, published on PloS One followed a captive chimp in a zoo - which was noted for its aggressive behaviour and throwing things at zoo goers.
According to the study the chimp initially acted aggressive, which led zoo-keepers to backing zoo-goers away from its enclosure before it could throw any stones.
Apparently recognising this, the chimp then stopped acting aggressive in a subsequent encounter, simply seeming to be just carrying two concrete rocks.
The zoo-keepers didn't realise what it was up to before those rocks were airborne.
The chimp then started making hiding places near the edges of its enclosure to hide rocks, which it got from the moat overnight when it thought nobody was looking. Combining this with restricting its dominance displays meant it could get more rocks off at the crowd before they backed away.
The chimp does not appear to have observed such behaviour before, and seems to have come up with it by itself.
While the researchers state this does not necessarily imply a theory of mind, in which chimps can model the mental behaviours of others it does mean that chimps can, in a similar fashion to humans, plan future events and innovate in order to deceive others.

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