Bonobos modify communication signals according to recipient familiarity
MetadataShow full item record
Altmetrics Handle Statistics
Altmetrics DOI Statistics
Human and nonhuman primate communication differs in various ways. In particular, humans base communicative efforts on mutual knowledge and conventions shared between interlocutors. In this study, we experimentally tested whether bonobos (Pan paniscus), a close relative to humans, are able to take into account the familiarity, i.e. the shared interaction history, when communicating with a human partner. In five experimental conditions we found that subjects took the recipients' attentional state and their own communicative effectiveness into account by adjusting signal production accordingly. More importantly, in case of communicative failure, subjects repeated previously successful signals more often with a familiar than unfamiliar recipient, with whom they had no previous interactions, and elaborated by switching to new signals more with the unfamiliar than the familiar one, similar to what has previously been found in two year-old children. We discuss these findings in relation to the human capacity to establish common ground between interlocutors, a crucial aspect of human cooperative communication.
Genty , E , Neumann , C & Zuberbuehler , K 2015 , ' Bonobos modify communication signals according to recipient familiarity ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 5 , 16442 , pp. 1-10 . https://doi.org/10.1038/srep16442
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.
DescriptionThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 283871.
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.