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Perception, Causation, and Objectivity$
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Johannes Roessler, Hemdat Lerman, and Naomi Eilan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692040.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2021

Social and Physical Reasoning in Human-reared Chimpanzees

Social and Physical Reasoning in Human-reared Chimpanzees

Preliminary Studies

(p.342) 19 Social and Physical Reasoning in Human-reared Chimpanzees
Perception, Causation, and Objectivity

Jennifer Vonk

Daniel J. Povinelli

Oxford University Press

Some theorists have speculated that apes reared by humans may develop sophisticated cognitive abilities not present (or only weakly developed) in other apes. This idea has become known as the ‘enculturation hypothesis.' We report the results of four studies conducted with three human-reared juvenile chimpanzees to explore the feasibility of a large-scale, long-term project that could be conducted to examine the effects of early human cultural experience on chimpanzee cognitive development. Specifically, Studies 1 and 2 explored aspects of their social cognition related to their understanding of visual attention. Studies 3 and 4 examined their understanding of physical causality in two tool-using tasks. Their performances were similar to that of peer-reared chimpanzees previously tested using similar procedures. We conclude that such studies should be pursued further to explore plasticity in the cognitive-developmental systems of humans and apes.

Keywords:   enculturation, causality, chimpanzees, cognitive development

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