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Study shows wild monkeys can learn new tricks from watching training videos

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Posted September 4, 2014
Study shows wild monkeys can learn new tricks from watching training videos
Video box & Experimental set-up. Credit: Biol. Lett. September 2014 vol. 10 no. 9 20140439. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0439

A trio of researchers working in a South American jungle has shown that wild monkeys are able to learn how to perform an activity by watching videos of other monkeys performing the task. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, Tina Gunhold, Thomas Bugnyar and Andrew Whiten of the Universities of Vienna and St Andrews, respectively, describe how they trained monkeys to perform tasks, videotaped them doing it and then showed the results to wild marmosets living in Pernambuco Brazil, and what they learned as a result of doing so.

Scientists have known for some time that certain captive animals are capable of learning by watching others like them perform tasks that have been video-recorded. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to know if such capabilities would extend to as well. They chose wild marmosets, which are native to Brazil because they are extremely social, curious and have been seen to learn from one another.

Read more at: Phys.org

 

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