Get access

An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Video Displays for Use With Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Authors

  • LYDIA M. HOPPER,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, Texas
    • Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • SUSAN P. LAMBETH,

    1. The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, Texas
    Search for more papers by this author
  • STEVEN J. SCHAPIRO

    1. The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, Texas
    2. Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Contract grant sponsor: BBSRC; contract grant sponsor: NSF CAREER, contract grant number: SES 0847351.

Correspondence to: Lydia M. Hopper, Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302.

Abstract

Video displays for behavioral research lend themselves particularly well to studies with chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), as their vision is comparable to humans’, yet there has been no formal test of the efficacy of video displays as a form of social information for chimpanzees. To address this, we compared the learning success of chimpanzees shown video footage of a conspecific compared to chimpanzees shown a live conspecific performing the same novel task. Footage of an unfamiliar chimpanzee operating a bidirectional apparatus was presented to 24 chimpanzees (12 males, 12 females), and their responses were compared to those of a further 12 chimpanzees given the same task but with no form of information. Secondly, we also compared the responses of the chimpanzees in the video display condition to responses of eight chimpanzees from a previously published study of ours, in which chimpanzees observed live models. Chimpanzees shown a video display were more successful than those in the control condition and showed comparable success to those that saw a live model. Regarding fine-grained copying (i.e. the direction that the door was pushed), only chimpanzees that observed a live model showed significant matching to the model's methods with their first response. Yet, when all the responses made by the chimpanzees were considered, comparable levels of matching were shown by chimpanzees in both the live and video conditions. Am. J. Primatol. 74:442-449, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary