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Prelinguistic human infants and great apes show different communicative strategies in a triadic request situation

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

In the present research, we investigate the communicative strategies of 20 month old human infants and great apes when requesting rewards from a human experimenter. Infants and apes both adapted their signals to the attentional state of the experimenter as well as to the location of the reward. Yet, while infants frequently positioned themselves in front of the experimenter and pointed towards a distant reward, apes either remained in the experimenter’s line of sight and pointed towards him or moved out of sight and pointed towards the reward. Further, when pointing towards a reward that was placed at a distance from the experimenter, only the infants, and not the apes, took the experimenter’s attentional state into account. These results demonstrate that prelinguistic human infants and nonhuman apes use different means when guiding others’ attention to a location; indicating that differing cognitive mechanisms may underlie their pointing gestures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Experimental set-up in all conditions.(R = reward; E = experimenter; P = participant; dotted line = transparent barrier; central solid line = opaque visual barrier; squares = containers; black triangles at the bottom left and right corners: cameras). In a two by two study design we varied whether the experimenter was oriented towards the participant (upper row; indicated by a triangle facing upwards) or away from the participant (lower row; indicated by a triangle facing downwards) and whether the experimenter and the reward were located on the same side (left column) or on different sides (right column) resulting in the four experimental conditions towards-same (TS), towards-different (TD), away-same (AS) and away-different (AD); EXP: experimenter side, OTH: other side.
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pone.0175227.g001: Experimental set-up in all conditions.(R = reward; E = experimenter; P = participant; dotted line = transparent barrier; central solid line = opaque visual barrier; squares = containers; black triangles at the bottom left and right corners: cameras). In a two by two study design we varied whether the experimenter was oriented towards the participant (upper row; indicated by a triangle facing upwards) or away from the participant (lower row; indicated by a triangle facing downwards) and whether the experimenter and the reward were located on the same side (left column) or on different sides (right column) resulting in the four experimental conditions towards-same (TS), towards-different (TD), away-same (AS) and away-different (AD); EXP: experimenter side, OTH: other side.

Mentions: Two containers were used (approximately 1.5 m apart), one of them holding a reward and the other one remaining empty (see Fig 1). Participant and experimenter (E1) were separated by a transparent barrier allowing participants to see both containers but not to reach them. The experimenter’s area was split in half by another, visually opaque, barrier, blocking the line of sight between the experimenter’s side and the other side.


Prelinguistic human infants and great apes show different communicative strategies in a triadic request situation
Experimental set-up in all conditions.(R = reward; E = experimenter; P = participant; dotted line = transparent barrier; central solid line = opaque visual barrier; squares = containers; black triangles at the bottom left and right corners: cameras). In a two by two study design we varied whether the experimenter was oriented towards the participant (upper row; indicated by a triangle facing upwards) or away from the participant (lower row; indicated by a triangle facing downwards) and whether the experimenter and the reward were located on the same side (left column) or on different sides (right column) resulting in the four experimental conditions towards-same (TS), towards-different (TD), away-same (AS) and away-different (AD); EXP: experimenter side, OTH: other side.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383261&req=5

pone.0175227.g001: Experimental set-up in all conditions.(R = reward; E = experimenter; P = participant; dotted line = transparent barrier; central solid line = opaque visual barrier; squares = containers; black triangles at the bottom left and right corners: cameras). In a two by two study design we varied whether the experimenter was oriented towards the participant (upper row; indicated by a triangle facing upwards) or away from the participant (lower row; indicated by a triangle facing downwards) and whether the experimenter and the reward were located on the same side (left column) or on different sides (right column) resulting in the four experimental conditions towards-same (TS), towards-different (TD), away-same (AS) and away-different (AD); EXP: experimenter side, OTH: other side.
Mentions: Two containers were used (approximately 1.5 m apart), one of them holding a reward and the other one remaining empty (see Fig 1). Participant and experimenter (E1) were separated by a transparent barrier allowing participants to see both containers but not to reach them. The experimenter’s area was split in half by another, visually opaque, barrier, blocking the line of sight between the experimenter’s side and the other side.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

In the present research, we investigate the communicative strategies of 20 month old human infants and great apes when requesting rewards from a human experimenter. Infants and apes both adapted their signals to the attentional state of the experimenter as well as to the location of the reward. Yet, while infants frequently positioned themselves in front of the experimenter and pointed towards a distant reward, apes either remained in the experimenter’s line of sight and pointed towards him or moved out of sight and pointed towards the reward. Further, when pointing towards a reward that was placed at a distance from the experimenter, only the infants, and not the apes, took the experimenter’s attentional state into account. These results demonstrate that prelinguistic human infants and nonhuman apes use different means when guiding others’ attention to a location; indicating that differing cognitive mechanisms may underlie their pointing gestures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus