Do Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and 2-Year-Old Children (Homo sapiens) Understand Double Invisible Displacement?

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Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and young children (Homo sapiens) have difficulty with double invisible displacements in which an object is hidden in two nonadjacent boxes in a linear array. Experiment 1 eliminated the possibility that chimpanzees' previous poor performance was due to the hiding direction of the displacement device. As in Call (2001), subjects failed double nonadjacent displacements, showing a tendency to select adjacent boxes. In Experiments 2 and 3, chimpanzees and 24-month-old children were tested on a new adaptation of the task in which four hiding boxes were presented in a diamond-shaped array on a vertical plane. Both species performed above chance on double invisible displacements using this format, suggesting that previous poor performance was due to a response bias or inhibition problem rather than a fundamental limitation in representational capacity.

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