as human beings we are able to attribute thoughts and intentions to other people. This skill, fundamental to conduct ourselves in society, is known as "theory of mind" and has been considered for a long time exclusive of the human being. However, several experiments carried out during the last years have shown that apes are so similar to us, and also share. is Chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans could correctly anticipate the action of a subject led to deception or a false belief. But what were they really "reading the mind" of others or could be some factor that influenced their responses? The experiments have been repeated with new tests that are more complex and the primates have become to come out a winner. [See the video on these lines].
The researchers, led by Fumihiro Kano, the sanctuary of primates Kumamoto University Kyoto, suggested to the ape a particularly exciting game for them. As explained in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS), the ape observes a video in which an investigator disguised as King Kong hides a stone in a box to the sight of another human. The human being goes through a door, time that the fake gorilla takes advantage of it to change the site object. It passes from hand to hand, put him in another box, take it out and finally takes it. The human returns to retrieve the stone while an eye-tracking technology picks up where he is looking at the chimp. And in effect, the ape looks more time in the box where it was hidden the stone the first time because the human does not know that it has been withdrawn and believes that it will be there where you are going to find.Rule of behavior
Up here, the experiment, inspired by another similar that is done with young children, already knew. But it could present a problem. An alternative explanation could be the "rule of behavior": what the apes understood genuinely the mental state of the individual (the false belief of where it was the object), or simply set at the last location visited by the subject?
To resolve this issue, the team repeated the test with a new twist. Instead of hiding behind a door, the human was behind a panel that was sometimes opaque and the other translucent. The apes were well aware of the characteristics of both barriers. The rest of the scene has not changed: the King Kong hiding the rock in a box, then in another, and at the end she is wearing. The team noted that, with the panel opaque, apes anticipated that the human would choose the box where he had seen that he was the rock (since he could not know that I was not there) while with the translucent, anticipated that there would nothing (looked at the two boxes during the same time), as I had seen how they wore it.
According to the researchers, this confirms that you the apes have theory of mind. "We are excited to find out that the great apes passed really this difficult test," says Kano. "The results suggest that we share this ability with our evolutionary cousins. We plan to continue refining our methods to try other alternatives not about psychics to the theory of mind in non-human animals", he adds.
As they say the authors of the study, the more we learn about our cousins, non-human, "the more we realize that we are equal."Updated Date: 06 October 2019, 10:00