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dc.contributor.authorVölter, Christoph J.
dc.contributor.authorCall, Josep
dc.identifier.citationVölter , C J & Call , J 2018 , ' Intuitive optics : what great apes infer from mirrors and shadows ' , Animal Cognition , vol. First Online .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 252900172
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: dd3f895b-5cf4-4a63-abc8-c9ba22d0ecd0
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85048683643
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-8597-8336/work/44629844
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000435587400005
dc.description.abstractThere is ongoing debate about the extent to which nonhuman animals, like humans, can go beyond first-order perceptual information to abstract structural information from their environment. In order to provide more empirical evidence regarding this question, we examined what type of information great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans) gain from optical effects such as shadows and mirror images. In an initial experiment, we investigated whether apes would use mirror images and shadows to locate hidden food. We found that all examined ape species used these cues to find the food. Follow-up experiments showed that apes neither confused these optical effects with the food rewards nor did they merely associate cues with food. First, naïve chimpanzees used the shadow of the hidden food to locate it but they did not learn within the same number of trials to use a perceptually similar rubber patch as indicator of the hidden food reward. Second, apes made use of the mirror images to estimate the distance of the hidden food from their own body. Depending on the distance, apes either pointed into the direction of the food or tried to access the hidden food directly. Third, apes showed some sensitivity to the geometrical relation between mirror orientation and mirrored objects when searching hidden food. Fourth, apes tended to interpret mirror images and pictures of these mirror images differently depending on their prior knowledge. Together, these findings suggest that apes are sensitive to the optical relation between mirror images and shadows and their physical referents.
dc.relation.ispartofAnimal Cognitionen
dc.rights© The Author(s) 2018. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.en
dc.subjectPrimate cognitionen
dc.subjectCausal cognitionen
dc.subjectIntuitive physicsen
dc.subjectProblem solvingen
dc.subjectAppearance-reality discriminationen
dc.subjectSecondary representationsen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectQL Zoologyen
dc.subjectExperimental and Cognitive Psychologyen
dc.titleIntuitive optics : what great apes infer from mirrors and shadowsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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