PRIMATE BEHAVIOR

Great apes can anticipate

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Science  16 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6258, pp. 289
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6258.289-a

Great apes can remember and anticipate surprising events

PHOTO: CYRIL RUOSO/CORBIS

Humans can process and store memories as events occur. For example, when we rewatch movies, we can recall and anticipate what will happen next. Kano and Hirata tested whether nonhuman primates also possess this skill by presenting bonobos and chimpanzees with short films and tracking their eye movements. In one film, the apes watched as a villain attacked an actor in a King-Kong suit with one of two objects. Twenty-four hours later, the scientists presented the apes with the same scene, but switching the objects' location. Most of the apes focused their attention on the previously weaponized object shortly before the attack, indicating that they had memorized the events during the previous viewing and could anticipate what happens next.

Curr. Biol. 25, 2513 (2015).

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