CZAAWE Resource Article

Nonenculturated Orangutans' (Pongo pygmaeus) Use of Experimenter-Given Manual and Facial Cues in an Object-Choice Task
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Comparative Psychology
1939-2087 0735-7036
Several experiments have been performed, to examine whether nonhuman primates are able to make use of experimenter-given manual and facial (visual) cues to direct their attention to a baited object. Contrary to the performance of prosimians and monkeys, great apes repeatedly have shown task efficiency in experiments such as these. However, many great ape subjects used have been "enculturated" individuals. In the present study, 3 nonenculturated orangutans ( Pongo pygmaeus) were tested for their ability to use experimenter-given pointing, gazing, and glancing cues in an object-choice task. All subjects readily made use of the pointing gesture. However, when subjects were left with only gazing or glancing cues, their performance deteriorated markedly, and they were not able to complete the task.