RESEARCH ARTICLE


Cognitive Understanding of Object Permanence in Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx, L.)



Anna Gabel, Carsten Lucass, Stefanie M. Zimmer, Christina Bietz, Maren Schwenke, Ralf Wanker*
Biozentrum Grindel, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany


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© 2009 Wanker et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Biozentrum Grindel, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany; E-mail: wanker@zoologie.uni-hamburg.de


Abstract

Object permanence tests are a standard procedure to test the cognitive ability to mentally follow a hidden object. To test this capacity in mandrills, we used visible and color-tracking with invisible displacement tests. During visible displacement the object was hidden and moved within its container in full view of the tested individual. During color-tracking with invisible displacement the object was hidden in a colored container, also in full view, but then moved within its container out of view. The tested mandrills were successful in the visible but not in the color-tracking with invisible displacement tests. They did not use the color as a cue for the correct container. One of the animals memorized the position of the container, in which the reward was dropped before the invisible displacement. We assume that the capacity of solving invisible displacement tests has evolved after the evolutionary separation of mandrills and apes.