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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chimpanzees can communicate using Gestures

Georgia State University researchers have concluded that Chimpanzees can communicate using meaningful gestures. Two language-trained chimpanzees named Panzee and Sherman helped human researcher to find hidden food, about which he was not aware.

The experiment conducted by Dr. Charles Menzel and his team at Language Research Center of Georgia State University found that chimpanzees helped human researchers find hidden food by offering meaningful clues. Chimpanzees were interested in offering help for goal-completion task, which gives clue about communication between chimpanzees.

Dr. Menzel and his team members further noticed that chimpanzees use directional gestures. The research team is also confident of memory power of chimpanzees and their communication skills between each other. The study may provide clue to development of language at basic level.

University of Chester’s Department of Psychology researcher Dr. Anna Roberts commented that the research findings are important as they inform us about capability of chimpanzees to share information. They live in community and help each other. They may choose to help each other in finding food. Many other animals communicate between each other whenever they perceive any risk to their life.

Chimpanzees are considered very intelligent and this has been proved during past researches as well. In many situations, they use different sounds to express different emotions. Chimpanzees might have developed their skill to much higher level, compared to other animals.

Dr. Sarah-Jane Vick from University of Stirling said, “Previous findings in both wild and captive chimpanzees have indicated flexibility in their gestural production, but the more complex coordination task used here demonstrates the considerable cognitive abilities that underpin chimpanzee communication.”

The Wenner-Gren Foundation, Leakey Foundation, National Institutes of Health and ESRC sponsored the research. University of Scotland and University of Stirling also sponsored the research.

The report has been published in journal Nature Communications.

Source: http://newstonight.co.za/

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