Understanding the point of chimpanzee pointing: epigenesis and ecological validity.

Leavens, David, Hopkins, William D and Bard, Kim A (2005) Understanding the point of chimpanzee pointing: epigenesis and ecological validity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14 (4). pp. 185-189. ISSN 0963-7214

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Abstract

Pointing has long been considered to be a uniquely human, universal, and biologically based gesture. However, pointing emerges spontaneously, without explicit training, in captive chimpanzees. Because pointing is commonplace in captive chimpanzees and virtually absent in wild chimpanzees, and because both captive and wild chimpanzees are sampled from the same gene pool, pointing by captive apes is attributable to environmental influences on communicative development. If pointing by captive chimpanzees is so variably expressed in different rearing environments, this suggests that pointing by humans may also be attributable to situational factors that make pointing effective in certain developmental contexts.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: David Leavens
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:35
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 13:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13411
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