Article

Do apes know that they could be wrong?

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.
Animal Cognition (Impact Factor: 2.63). 03/2010; 13(5):689-700. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-010-0317-x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT When confronted with uncertain or incomplete information in decision-making situations, monkeys and apes opt for either escaping the situation or seeking additional information. These responses have been interpreted as evidence of metacognitive abilities. However, this interpretation has been challenged. On the one hand, studies using the information-seeking paradigm have been criticized because subjects may simply engage in a search for information routine (e.g., search until spot the reward) without any metacognitive involvement. On the other hand, studies using the escape response paradigm have been criticized because subjects may not recognize their own state of uncertainty but have learned to use the escape response in the presence of certain stimuli configurations that create uncertainty. The current study attempted to address these two criticisms by presenting great apes (seven gorillas, eight chimpanzees, four bonobos, seven orangutans) with a seeking information task whose basic procedure consisted of presenting two hollow tubes, baiting one of them and letting subjects choose. Conditions varied depending on whether subjects had visual access to the baiting, the cost associated with seeking information, the time interval between baiting and choosing, the food quality and the additional information offered regarding the food's location. Although subjects showed a high retrieval accuracy when they had witnessed the baiting, they were more likely to check inside the tube before choosing when high stakes were involved (Experiment 3) or after a longer period of time had elapsed between the baiting and the retrieval of the reward (Experiment 2). In contrast, providing subjects with indirect auditory information about the food's location or increasing the cost of checking reduced checking before choosing (Experiment 1). Taken together, these findings suggest that subjects knew that they could be wrong when choosing.

0 Followers
 · 
114 Views
  • Theory &amp Psychology 06/2013; 24(3):359-381. DOI:10.1177/0959354313506508 · 0.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Comparative cognition is the field of inquiry concerned with understanding the cognitive abilities and mechanisms that are evident in nonhuman species. Assessments of animal cognition have a long history, but in recent years there has been an explosion of new research topics, and a general broadening of the phylogenetic map of animal cognition. To review the past of comparative cognition, we describe the historical trends. In regards to the present state, we examine current "hot topics" in comparative cognition. Finally, we offer our unique and combined thoughts on the future of the field.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metamemory has been broadly defined as knowledge of one’s own memory. Based on a theoretical framework developed by Nelson and Narens in 1990, there has been a wealth of cognitive research that provides insight in to how we make judgments about out memory. More recently, there has been a growing interest in understanding the neural mechanisms supporting metamemory monitoring judgments. In this chapter, we propose that a fuller understanding of the neural basis of metamemory monitoring involves examining which brain regions: 1) are involved in the process of engaging in a metamemory monitoring task, 2) modulate based on the subjective level of the metamemory judgment expressed, and 3) are sensitive to the accuracy of the metamemory judgment (i.e., when the subjective judgment is congruent with the objective memory performance). Lastly, it is critical to understand how brain activation changes when metamemory judgments are based on different sources of information. Our review of the literature shows that, although we have begun to address the brain mechanisms supporting metamemory judgments, there are still many unanswered questions. The area for the most growth, however, is in understanding how the patterns of activation are changed when metamemory judgments are based on different kinds of information.
    The Cognitive Neuroscience of Metacognition, Edited by Steven J Fleming, Christopher D. Frith, 01/2014: pages 237-292; Springer., ISBN: 978-3-642-45189-8

Preview

Download
5 Downloads
Available from