Intentional communication by chimpanzees: a cross-sectional study of the use of referential gestures

Leavens, David and Hopkins, W. D. (1998) Intentional communication by chimpanzees: a cross-sectional study of the use of referential gestures. Developmental Psychology, 34 (5). pp. 813-822. ISSN 00121649

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Abstract

This study describes the use of referential gestures with concomitant gaze orienting behavior to both distal food objects and communicative interactants by 115 chimpanzees, ranging from 3 to 56 years of age. Gaze alternation between a banana and an experimenter was significantly associated with vocal and gestural communication. Pointing was the most common gesture elicited; 47 subjects pointed with the whole hand, whereas 6 subjects pointed with index fingers. Thus, communicative pointing is commonly used by laboratory chimpanzees, without explicit training to point, language training, or home rearing. Juveniles exhibited striking decrements in their propensity to communicate with adult male experimenters compared with older chimpanzees. Significantly fewer mother-reared chimpanzees exhibited gaze alternation compared with nursery-reared chimpanzees.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: David Leavens
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:41
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 13:03
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13932
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