The ability to understand similarities and analogies is a fundamental aspect of human advanced cognition. Although subject of considerable research in comparative cognition, the extent to which nonhuman species are capable of analogical reasoning is still debated. This study examined the conditions under which tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) acquire a same/different concept in a matching-to-sample task on the basis of relational similarity among multi-item stimuli. We evaluated (i) the ability of five capuchin monkeys to learn the same/different concept on the basis of the number of items composing the stimuli and (ii) the ability to match novel stimuli after training with both several small stimulus sets and a large stimulus set. We found the first evidence of same/different relational matching-to-sample abilities in a New World monkey and demonstrated that the ability to match novel stimuli is within the capacity of this species. Therefore, analogical reasoning can emerge in monkeys under specific training conditions.
Same/Different Concept Learning by Capuchin Monkeys in Matching-to-Sample Tasks
Public Library of Science, San Francisco, CA , Stati Uniti d'America
PloS one 6 (2011): e23809. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023809
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Truppa, Valentina ; Piano Mortari, E ; Garofoli, D ; Privitera, S ; Visalberghi, Elisabetta/titolo:Same/Different Concept Learning by Capuchin Monkeys in Matching-to-Sample Tasks/doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023809/rivista:PloS on