Yo! Scratch This!

1:45 PM -- Monkey science news from researchers at the University of Michigan:

    It was once thought that only humans gestured to direct another person's attention, but such "referential" gesturing was recently observed in wild chimpanzees.

    John Mitani, University of Michigan anthropology professor, and colleague Simone Pika, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at University of St. Andrews in Scotland, observed male chimps habitually using "directed scratches" to request grooming of specific areas on the body. The findings suggest that our closest living relatives may be capable of mental-state attribution, making inferences about the knowledge of others.
So, there you have it: We know what we like and we know how to get it.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 3:59:35 AM
re: Yo! Scratch This! Depends...

Are you dressed in leather or rubber?

CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:59:35 AM
re: Yo! Scratch This! Larry,
Before your ego gets to inflated, consider this...

Which behavior:
a) Larry indicating where to scratch or
b) my dog placing its leash on my lap while I'm vegging in front of the TV

indicates a higher level of mental-state attribution?


CoolLightGeek 12/5/2012 | 3:59:36 AM
re: Yo! Scratch This! Larry, the attack monkey,
capable of mental-state attribution!

You should try that as a pickup line at your next visit to the watering hole.

Happy Scratching!

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