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Intentional communication between wild bonnet macaques and humans

Deshpande, Adwait and Gupta, Shreejata and Sinha, Anindya (2018) Intentional communication between wild bonnet macaques and humans. In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8 .

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1038/s41598-018-22928-z


Comparative studies of nonhuman communication systems could provide insights into the origins and evolution of a distinct dimension of human language: intentionality. Recent studies have provided evidence for intentional communication in different species but generally in captive settings. We report here a novel behaviour of food requesting from humans displayed by wild bonnet macaques Macaca radiata, an Old World cercopithecine primate, in the Bandipur National Park of southern India. Using both natural observations and field experiments, we examined four different behavioural components-coo-calls, hand-extension gesture, orientation, and monitoring behaviour-of food requesting for their conformity with the established criteria of intentional communication. Our results suggest that food requesting by bonnet macaques is potentially an intentionally produced behavioural strategy as all the food requesting behaviours except coo-calls qualify the criteria for intentionality. We comment on plausible hypotheses for the origin and spread of this novel behavioural strategy in the study macaque population and speculate that the cognitive precursors for language production may be manifest in the usage of combination of signals of different modalities in communication, which could have emerged in simians earlier than in the anthropoid apes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belong to NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, MACMILLAN BUILDING, 4 CRINAN ST, LONDON N1 9XW, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 18:48
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 18:48
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/59719

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