Thursday, September 07, 2006

 

Proved - Monkey see, monkey do (Text , Videos)

Monkeys Macaques Infant Mimicry Imitate Rhesus (Evolution Research: John Latter / Jorolat)Monkeys "imitate with a purpose", matching their behaviour to others' as a form of social learning, researchers report.

Such mimicry has previously been seen only in great apes - including humans and chimps - but now Italian researchers have recorded wonderful footage of the phenomenon in newborn rhesus macaques.

Human newborns have a known capacity to mimic certain specific adult facial expressions, including mouth opening and tongue protrusion. The so-called imitation period lasts up to three months in human infants and two months in chimps. [New Scientist News: Chimpanzee, Behavior]
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The above report contains links to two videos: "Old Macaque Infant Imitating Mouth Opening" and "Old Macaque Infant Imitating Tongue Protrusion".

Based on the open access PLoS Biology paper "Neonatal Imitation in Rhesus Macaques" which contains a third video "Lip Smacking Exchanges in a Naturalistic Setting between Mother and Infant Macaques".

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