Object permanence in adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus): Not everything is an "A-not-B" error that seems to be one

Anna Kis, M. Gácsi, Friederike Range, Zsófia Virányi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we describe a behaviour pattern similar to the "A-not-B" error found in human infants and young apes in a monkey species, the common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). In contrast to the classical explanation, recently it has been suggested that the "A-not-B" error committed by human infants is at least partially due to misinterpretation of the hider's ostensively communicated object hiding actions as potential 'teaching' demonstrations during the A trials. We tested whether this so-called Natural Pedagogy hypothesis would account for the A-not-B error that marmosets commit in a standard object permanence task, but found no support for the hypothesis in this species. Alternatively, we present evidence that lower level mechanisms, such as attention and motivation, play an important role in committing the "A-not-B" error in marmosets. We argue that these simple mechanisms might contribute to the effect of undeveloped object representational skills in other species including young non-human primates that commit the A-not-B error.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cognition
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

Fingerprint

Callithrix
Callithrix jacchus
Callitrichidae
Pongidae
monkeys
Teaching
Primates
primate
teaching
Hominidae
Action Potentials
Haplorhini
Motivation
infant
young

Keywords

  • "A-not-B" error
  • Attention
  • Behavioural flexibility
  • Common marmoset
  • Motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Object permanence in adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) : Not everything is an "A-not-B" error that seems to be one. / Kis, Anna; Gácsi, M.; Range, Friederike; Virányi, Zsófia.

In: Animal Cognition, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 97-105.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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