Long-term memory of past events in great apes
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It has been claimed that the ability to recall personal past events is uniquely human. We review recent evidence that great apes can remember specific events for long periods of time, spanning months and even years, and that such memories can be enhanced by distinctiveness (irrespective of reinforcement) and follow a forgetting curve similar to that in humans. Moreover, recall is enhanced when apes are presented with features that are diagnostic of the event, consistent with notions of encoding specificity and cue overload in human memory. These findings are also consistent with the involuntary retrieval of past events in humans, a mode of remembering that is thought to be less cognitively demanding than voluntary retrieval. Taken together, these findings reveal further similarities between the way humans and animals remember past events and open new avenues of research on long-term memory in nonhuman animals.
Lewis , A V M , Berntsen , D & Call , J 2019 , ' Long-term memory of past events in great apes ' , Current Directions in Psychological Science , vol. 28 , no. 2 , pp. 117-123 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418812781
Current Directions in Psychological Science
© 2019, the Author(s). This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418812781
DescriptionFunding: Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF89).
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