HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Social imitation in neonatal monkeys

Humans do it. Chimps do it. Why shouldn't monkeys do it, too? Mimicry exists throughout the animal kingdom, but imitation with a purpose--matching one's behavior to others' as a form of social learning--has been seen only in great apes. It's generally believed that monkeys do not imitate in this way. However, the discovery that rhesus monkeys have "mirror neurons"--neurons that fire both when monkeys watch another animal perform an action and when they perform the same action--suggests they possess the common neural framework for perception and action that is associated with imitation.

In a new study in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, Pier Ferrari, Stephen Suomi, and colleagues explored the possibility that imitation evolved earlier in the primate tree by studying neonatal imitation in rhesus monkeys, which split from the human lineage about 25 million years ago. They found that rhesus infants can indeed imitate a subset of human facial gestures--gestures the monkeys use to communicate. The first investigation of neonatal imitation outside the great ape lineage, their study suggests that the trait is not unique to great apes after all.

Ferrari et al. tested 21 baby rhesus monkeys' response to various experimental conditions at different ages (one, three, seven, and 14 days old). Infants were held in front of a researcher who began with a passive expression (the baseline condition) and then made one of several gestures, including tongue protrusion, mouth opening, lip smacking, and hand opening.

Day-old infants rarely displayed mouth opening behavior, but smacked their lips frequently. When experimenters performed the mouth opening gesture, infants responded with increased lip smacking but did not increase any other behavior. None of the other stimuli produced significant responses. But by day 3, matched behaviors emerged: infants stuck out their tongues far more often in response to researchers' tongue protrusions compared with
'"/>

Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
415-568-3445
Public Library of Science
4-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Social tolerance allows bonobos to outperform chimpanzees on a cooperative task
2. Social factors not hormones cause PMS, post-natal depression and menopausal stress
3. NIH Celebrates a Decade of Discovery in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
4. Sociality of sweat bees evolved simultaneously during climate change
5. Social stress in mice is controlled by genetic pathway, researchers find
6. Social learning in noncolonial insects?
7. Social amoeba sheds light on communication in human brain
8. Social stress boosts immune systems flu-fighting abilities
9. Institute for OneWorld Health awarded Skoll Foundations Social Entrepreneurship Award
10. Experiment suggests limitations to carbon dioxide tree banking
11. Potassium limitation, ammonium toxicity and amino acid excretion in yeast

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... Experiential tourism, a trend ... demand over the last several years. And according to a recent report by ... soon. In fact, more and more travelers are wanting their journeys to be ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 21, 2019 , ... ... companies, turned 20 today, and to celebrate launched a new startup package, 0to5 ... tools they need – pre-product – to attract talent and investors. , “We ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... , ... May 20, 2019 , ... The ASGCT ... in gene and cell therapy throughout the United States. Data curated daily from ClinicalTrials.gov ... reader-friendly format. , ASGCT members who volunteered to assist in the development of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/15/2019)... ... , ... Milton Hershey School® has named William Charles Ballough Harding ’78 the ... where he is changing lives by creating solutions to global healthcare challenges through the ... of our founders – Milton and Catherine Hershey – who always hoped for Milton ...
(Date:5/8/2019)... ... ... Standing at 16.2 hands, Atlas is on the large side for a Quarter Horse. ... among other activities. When loping around a corner in late 2017, Atlas tripped and ... to only being able to walk. Fortunately Atlas’ owner, Kelly, sought the opinion of ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... April 30, 2019 , ... ... standard, REPROCELL USA Inc. has demonstrated its ability to provide various services ... aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective implementation of its quality ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... May 02, 2019 , ... ... in the greater Boston area. Gone are the days of painful hair transplant ... Robotic Hair Restoration System is the only robotic intelligent solution to offer a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: