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Intuitions about gravity and solidity in great apes: the tubes task


Cacchione, T; Call, J (2010). Intuitions about gravity and solidity in great apes: the tubes task. Developmental Science, 13(2):320-330.

Abstract

We investigated whether great apes, like human infants, monkeys and dogs, are subject to a strong gravity bias when tested with the tubes task, and--in case of mastery--what the source of competence on the tubes task is. We presented 22 apes with three versions of the tubes task, in which an object is dropped down a tube connected to one of three potential hiding places and the subject is required to locate the object. In two versions, apes were confronted with a causal tube that varied in the amount of perceptual information it provided (i.e. presence or absence of acoustic cues). The third version was a non-causal adaptation of the task in which a painted line 'connected' dropping and hiding places. Results indicate that apes neither have a reliable gravity bias when tested with the tubes, nor understand the causal function of the tube. Even though there is evidence that they can integrate tube-related causal information to localize the object, they seem to depend mainly on non-causal inferences when searching for an invisibly displaced object.

Abstract

We investigated whether great apes, like human infants, monkeys and dogs, are subject to a strong gravity bias when tested with the tubes task, and--in case of mastery--what the source of competence on the tubes task is. We presented 22 apes with three versions of the tubes task, in which an object is dropped down a tube connected to one of three potential hiding places and the subject is required to locate the object. In two versions, apes were confronted with a causal tube that varied in the amount of perceptual information it provided (i.e. presence or absence of acoustic cues). The third version was a non-causal adaptation of the task in which a painted line 'connected' dropping and hiding places. Results indicate that apes neither have a reliable gravity bias when tested with the tubes, nor understand the causal function of the tube. Even though there is evidence that they can integrate tube-related causal information to localize the object, they seem to depend mainly on non-causal inferences when searching for an invisibly displaced object.

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14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2010
Deposited On:15 Nov 2010 10:29
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:25
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1363-755X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00881.x
PubMed ID:20136928

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