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Suddendorf & Collier-Baker (2009) “The evolution of primate visual self-recognition” Proc. R. Soc. B 276: 1671 PowerPoint Presentation
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Suddendorf & Collier-Baker (2009) “The evolution of primate visual self-recognition” Proc. R. Soc. B 276: 1671-1677. Gallup (1970): mark test – chimps show self-recognition (MSR) Amsterdam (1972): toddlers show MSR by age 2

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slide1

Suddendorf & Collier-Baker (2009)

“The evolution of primate visual self-recognition”

Proc. R. Soc. B 276: 1671-1677

Gallup (1970): mark test – chimps show self-recognition (MSR)

Amsterdam (1972): toddlers show MSR by age 2

Primate tests: only chimps, orangs, gorillas have passed – monkeys have failed

Question: evolution of MSR in the primate line

©2009 by The Royal Society

slide3

Mirror Self Recognition

  • Monkeys fail this test
  • Gibbons have not been carefully tested
  • Monkeys and gibbons can use mirrors to find hidden objects
    • is that all Epstein’s pigeons are doing?
  • Problem with the mark test: it presupposes that animal motivated to examine a novel mark on its body
  • Importance of question:
    • Establishes evolutionary timeline
    • Important to determine neural or genetic basis
slide4

Methods

  • Test 4 species, 3 genera of gibbons
  • To establish subject’s motivation to retrieve a mark from its body, conducted 2 control tests:
    • Offered icing – do they like it?
    • Icing surreptitiously placed on limb – do they take it?
  • Mark test – similar-colored paint surreptitiously applied while subjects feeding at the mesh
  • Control tests to increase gibbons’ opportunity to show self-recognition
  • Everything videotaped and scored
slide6

A white-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) reaching behind the mirror

video

Suddendorf T , Collier-Baker E Proc. R. Soc. B 2009;276:1671-1677

©2009 by The Royal Society

slide7

Results

  • Relative frequency:
  • Close looking at mirror
  • Physical exploration
  • Reaching or looking behind
  • Social behavior
  • Contingency behavior
  • Self directed behavior
    • – Only 23 instances in 60 hours, none at mark
  • Control tests
  • Icing on mirror itself (they take it)
  • Drawing attention to E behind the S in the mirror (they failed?)
  • Marking S’s head or limb with icing or stickers (they handle)
slide8

Phylogenetic tree of the living apes

Their conclusion:

MSR evolved here

MSR

©2009 by The Royal Society