HOPE Report  2004-10-01

Program No.20 (Joint research)

Information exchange on social intelligence in chimpanzees and participation in international conference and seminars

By Satoshi Hirata (Head Researcher, Great Ape Research Institute, Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.)

Place of visit: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; Lingotto Centro Congressi, Torino, Italy; Notre Maison, Cogne, Italy

Period of visit: 19 August, 2004 - 2 September, 2004

The Hope Seminar "Chimpanzee cognition: from visual to social cognition" was held at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in which researchers from the Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology participated. I reported the results of two experimental studies on chimpanzee cooperation. Dr. Brian Hare and Alicia Perez of the Max Planck Institute are also conducting studies of cooperation in chimpanzees. 

The experimental methods of our study and theirs have different points, and we discussed the merits and demerits of each of the methodologies as well as the future direction. Dr. Josep Call introduced the Pongoland of Leipzig Zoo, also known as the Wolfgung Koehler Institute, where four species of the great apes are kept and studied. Costs and benefits were discussed in terms of the hardware of the facility.

In the XXth congress of the International Primatological Society, which was held at the Lingotto Centro Congressi, Torino, Italy, I presented a talk entitled the experimental study of cooperation in a chimpanzee paired with a human partner. Drs. William Hopkins, Charles Menzel, and Kim Bard suggested several possible future directions of this study, and we discussed chimpanzee social cognition by referring to relevant studies that they have conducted in the past.

Hope meeting "Tool use: chimpanzees and capuchins face to face" was held at Notre Maison, Cogne, Italy, in which I explained the result of an experimental study on learning and social transmission of nut-cracking behavior in captive chimpanzees. I discussed with Dr. Elisabetta Visalberghi, who also studies nut cracking in capuchin monkeys, and we made an agreement on collaboration so that we shall use sharable methods for data analysis and produce comparative resource for chimpanzee and capuchin nut cracking.


Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Center


An indoor compound for chimpanzees


An outdoor compound for orangutans


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