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Time does not help orangutans Pongo abelii solve physical problems

Lind, Johan; Lönnberg, Sofie; Persson, Tomas LU and Enquist, Magnus (2017) In Frontiers in Psychology 8.
Abstract
Many questions in animal intelligence and cognition research are challenging. One challenge is to identify mechanisms underlying reasoning in experiments. Here we provide a way to design such tests in nonhuman animals. We know from research in skill acquisition in humans that reasoning and thinking can take time because some problems are processed in multiple steps before a solution is reached (e.g. during mental arithmetics). If animals are able to learn through similar processes their decision making can be time consuming, and most importantly improve if more time to process information is allowed. We tested if performance of two Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) increased in a two-choice experiment when they were allowed extra time... (More)
Many questions in animal intelligence and cognition research are challenging. One challenge is to identify mechanisms underlying reasoning in experiments. Here we provide a way to design such tests in nonhuman animals. We know from research in skill acquisition in humans that reasoning and thinking can take time because some problems are processed in multiple steps before a solution is reached (e.g. during mental arithmetics). If animals are able to learn through similar processes their decision making can be time consuming, and most importantly improve if more time to process information is allowed. We tested if performance of two Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) increased in a two-choice experiment when they were allowed extra time before making their decisions, compared to when they were forced to decide immediately. We found that the performance of the orangutans did not depend on the time they were allowed to process the information before making their decisions. This methodology provides a potential avenue for empirical tests of mechanisms underlying reasoning in non-human animals. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
animal cognition , methodology, Intelligence, orangutans, reasoning, Thinking
in
Frontiers in Psychology
volume
8
publisher
Frontiers
external identifiers
  • scopus:85014043717
  • wos:000393475700001
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00161
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9fc013d7-08e6-457a-8593-0562a23d68b7
date added to LUP
2017-01-25 14:45:21
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:46:52
@article{9fc013d7-08e6-457a-8593-0562a23d68b7,
  abstract     = {Many questions in animal intelligence and cognition research are challenging. One challenge is to identify mechanisms underlying reasoning in experiments. Here we provide a way to design such tests in nonhuman animals. We know from research in skill acquisition in humans that reasoning and thinking can take time because some problems are processed in multiple steps before a solution is reached (e.g. during mental arithmetics). If animals are able to learn through similar processes their decision making can be time consuming, and most importantly improve if more time to process information is allowed. We tested if performance of two Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) increased in a two-choice experiment when they were allowed extra time before making their decisions, compared to when they were forced to decide immediately. We found that the performance of the orangutans did not depend on the time they were allowed to process the information before making their decisions. This methodology provides a potential avenue for empirical tests of mechanisms underlying reasoning in non-human animals. },
  author       = {Lind, Johan and Lönnberg, Sofie and Persson, Tomas and Enquist, Magnus},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  keyword      = {animal cognition ,methodology,Intelligence,orangutans,reasoning,Thinking},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Frontiers},
  series       = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  title        = {Time does not help orangutans Pongo abelii solve physical problems},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00161},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2017},
}