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Report on SAGA2/COE Symposium

Moving our message beyond the academy: the significance of understanding chimpanzee cognition and its role in conservation.

Sarah T. Boysen, Valerie A. Kuhlmeier & Karen I. Hallberg. The Comparative Cognition Project, Dept. of Psychology, The Ohio State University Chimpanzee Center, Columbus, OH 43210.

     Recent studies of chimpanzee cognitive skills continue to offer new insights and greater depth toward our understanding of their shared evolutionary history with humans. Investigations of several representational systems have been explored in our laboratory with a group of now highly test-sophisticated adult chimpanzee subjects, including studies of number concepts and counting, comprehension of scale models, concept formation, and most recently, categorization and discrimination of chimpanzee food bark vocalizations. Results of these experiments will be presented, and the relevance of experimental studies of chimpanzee cognitive capacities toward increasing awareness of such potential among our scientific colleagues and the lay communities will be highlighted. The significance of current and future evidence for chimpanzee cognitive abilities and the potential role that such understanding can contribute towards helping avert the current crisis for wild and captive populations of all great apes will require immediate and emphatic communication beyond the primatology community.


Copyright (C) 1999- COE International Symposium