1. Guide to
exam 3, Spring 2011. Be sure to look at any available old exams. It might also
be useful to review previous study guides, recent primate news, and of course
the daily notes. Some items on this guide were covered on exam 2. Some
questions on language, for example, from old exam two may appear on this
forthcoming exam 3.
There may be slight changes for clarity in the essays by
next class as well as some links to relevant material.
If you have any specific exam questions, send them to the
Blackboard discussion board for exam 3. (and feel free to comment on others
questions and my answers.)
Take a look at recent news….
Some concepts to know about , theory of mind (ToM), xenophobia, concealed ovulation, and these.. dealing with sex etc.
We have yet to see Goodall's Return to Gombe, Responsive Brain
and Attraction. It will be tight fitting all these in before the exam-- along
with some discussion of aggression, ethics, and
NHP methods of choosing leaders--this you can extract from the recent videos.
Remember baboons are not apes! It is extremely important to indicate
in your anwers what species you are talking about; you can lose points by
Communication and language
Primate communication IS mammalian
Most involve movement- gesture, vocal
Maybe primates have more subtle gestures?
More expressive faces?
Or is this just primate egocentricism? Try the puppet
metaphor for an answer? Darwin (1871) wrote much on the topic pointing out
similarities across species.
Visual, olfactory, and touch also play important roles
in some species, especially in mating activities. (This presupposes vocal-auditory
communication is relevant.)
Testosterone coloring effects in male monkeys
Facial pads in adult orangutan
Female chimp genital swellings and color
Effects of grooming (social, physiological)
Probably olfactory signals in many species (pheromones,
even in humans?) Hormones are implicated in several of the above topics.
Symmetry of body; especially the face
Open to easily created new messages
New messages out of old words-- sentences.
New words too! (lexicalization)
Componential and recursive
Probably a recent evolutionary development
A few hundred thousand years?
Fifty thousand years?
Still a mystery but:
Bipedalism set the stage (3.5+mya)
Brain enlargement and lateralized brain function was important
Specialized vocal tract by 100,000 years ago
Specialized movement control necessary for fine-grained movements.
See news item on chimp strength.
Related to 3&4 above - timing is essential
Language is a social and cultural matter as well. Social communication probably came
first, then referential capacity increased, words were invented and
incorporated into the system, and then language took on additional functions.
(see NOTES FOR MORE; also see ape,
neanderthal, human comparisons.)
L Functions beyond interpersonal communication
Certainly our internal dialogue –intra-personal speech
Awareness of our thoughts
We 'hear' our thoughts as they are automatically
encoded into our language (incl signs)
We can Review and elaborate them
These metacognitive processes possibly enable
significant cognitive advantages from science to theory of mind (ToM below).
Confabulation and LH interpreter – an instinctive desire
The origins of myth, religion and science
Attribution of thoughts to others- ToM
Young children are egocentric as Piaget demonstrated.
After age 4, children realize others may think/behave
differently because of different beliefs
We predict behavior on attributed beliefs (“false
These skills are correlated with language development
and maternal use of cognitive
words like believe, know, think. Even deaf children taught signs for these words pass the
“false-belief” test sooner.
Apes show little of this behavior – they have a
natural “cognitive verb gap.” How would you teach an ape a symbol for “think’
– a word used by all normal
humans around age 3?
Autistic individuals may have serious deficits here
Expanding our consciousness beyond the present
(2) Humans have a very
large hippocampus that plays a basic role in these memories -- and in birds and
probably human, the hippocampus size (cell numbers) changes with memories.
Additional non-communicative functions?
Longer term planning?
How 'social' is consciousness?
Language is social- each word was invented by an individual
but picked up and used by everyone in that language community
Certainly ToM is social
Socially isolated chimps tend to fail Gallup’s “red spot”
How do 'human based codes' compare with human
(1) Limited vocabulary
(2) No hierarchical syntax
(3) Only human creativity involved-
learning curves from human acquisition
2. What can these studies tell us?
maybe we can get some insight into animal minds? (Premack & Pepperberg)
slight chance of some insight into human language evolution BUT- don't forget
use of HBCs starts with an existing human language and a (nominally)
intelligent being (us) as trainer. There seems no parallel in the as yet untold
story of human language evolution.
fact the great gap between three year olds and all other species, even with the
HBC trainers highlights the differential self-organizing capacities of humans
and other species with regard to human language. (This should be no surprise as
birds tend to self-organize into flying etc etc).
Demands and effects of social life
Agents differ from physical objects
Role of communication
Learning from others
Social priming to teaching
Sharing and culture is FAR more significant
Culture and language possibly shaped the evolution of
our brains (Baldwin effect)
Greater degree of Social insight
Assessing intentions of others
Gaze, face information
Theory of mind and false belief test
Recognizing beliefs predict behavior
Assessing beliefs of others
Extent of sexuality/bonding in non-reproductive sex
the Strier article in TO on monkeys compared with bonobos.
Do apes blush?
(See Darwin on the topic in Social Brain notes?)
effects on brain and body development
of maternal care (or deprivation of care)
Effects of touch
of dominant males on other males development
effects on development
Brain notes; paper on orangs earlier on Blackboard by Sapolsky.)
Social structure and dominance hierarchies
Varying degrees of sexual dimorphism
Probably due to dominance and mating issues. Darwin and others saw dimorphism as a
result of sexual selection.
Hominoid Females tend to leave their natal groups
All species have means of reducing inbreeding
(compare the baboons
to the apes in videos)
Each species is somewhat different
Male dominance may occur in 3 ways (bonobos are
Aggressive outsider challenge of current leader (gorilla,
Form a new group (collect females without a group)
Take over from within after downfall of current leader, often
with allies. (chimps, maybe mountain gorillas?) Note that chimps are less dimorphic. Jane Goodall reported this process in
the fate of Frodo.
Rank is variously determined
Female apes must ingratiate selves into existing group
using social skills including sex and grooming
Male chimps rely on strength, social skills, and
cleverness in forming alliances—their moms help too. Sons may benefit
from high ranked females. Maybe more so in bonobos where females rank high
overall. Lots of inter-individual
Orangutans, gorilla, and baboon males fight it out for
control of neighborhood females (and have less sperm competition with other
degree of sexual dimorphism.
Orangs have some notably unique features involving
suppression of growth by calls, forced sex with females ..
Sex – why have it?
Promotes variation which enables selection to be adaptive
two genes for most characteristics offers backup?
Variation may defend against microbes eliminating entire species—much the same idea
as A above.
Mating (see notes)
Sexual selection and mate choice
'Sexual selection depends on the success of certain individuals
over others of the same sex, in relation to the propagation of the species;
whilst natural selection depends on the success of both sexes, at all ages, in
relation to the general conditions of life. The sexual struggle is of two
kinds; in the one it is between individuals of the same sex, generally the
males, in order to drive away or kill their rivals, the females remaining
passive; whilst in the other, the struggle is likewise between the individuals
of the same sex, in order to excite or charm those of the opposite sex,
generally the females, which no longer remain passive, but select the more
agreeable partners. This latter kind of selection is closely analogous to that
which man unintentionally, yet effectually, brings to bear on his domesticated productions,
when he preserves during a long period the most pleasing or useful individuals,
without any wish to modify the breed." Darwin (1871)
Darwin (1871; ch.21)
Each species has its variations
How are individuals attracted to their species?
Earliest experiences are very important
What counts as an 'attractive' mate?
Compare chimps and humans!!
One or several mates?
Polygyny, polygamy, monogamy
Variations presumably reflect sexual and/or natural selection: for example
Testicle and penis size
Female genital swellings
Human breast development
Classic non-primate cases of peacock feathers and bower
Non-reproductive sexual behavior?
Probably all apes and at least some monkeys have a
decoupled physiology-sex behavior link
to some extent, which enables other psychological and environmental
factors to moderate sex behaviors enabling them to take on other functions,
e.g. social bonding, mate choice. See the Strier chapter and notes.
have far greater offspring 'costs' or parental investment than males of their
Humans are born premature, with lots of implications
Human Brain exposed to culture early.
Females require social support at birth and immediately.
3. Human nursing style and available "solid" food
supplements increase human reproduction rates over ape cousins.
Parenting and attachment
studied the basics
Disrupting early mother-infant relations has many negative
effects on the mature primate's social, sexual, and cognitive behaviors
Aggression, competition, and reconciliation
See notes on settings for
Early experience can set the stage for adult behavior
Testosterone plays a role in males
Compare the stories of Frodo, Mr. Kusasi, Titus, bonobo
leaders, and the baboon invader seen in recent videos.
behavior and reciprocity
Many primates, all apes- do they have some version of the
'golden rule' built into them?
Apes as citizens, pests, meat, or pets?
Competition with local humans is a serious and
Role of zoos?
Research with non-human primates
Federal guidelines now go beyond physical care
Consent? Should cognitive levels affect research
Confusion of research, pets, and conservation
Pathology of apes in human hands?
Zoo gorillas, e.g Boston Joe escapes, attacks
Many Chimp attacks on humans
Mr. Kusasi and other orangs
situation (will be updated)
Teaching Vicki to talk?
BBC Brain video
Ape Genius (PBS notes)
(Last Great Ape)
(follow-up on Language video segment on Creoles-)
brief PBS "sperm
competition"(watch it at home)
attraction and faces, symmetry etc?
(Remember, these are essays but an
outline or sketch can help insure you don’t omit anything.)
Sex and reproductive differences in
A. We have read about and seen many
examples of how male and female primates differ within a species as well as
across species. Focusing upon three species: humans, bonobos, and orangutans,
discuss the following 3 topics, using examples to make your points. IF SPECIES
DO NOT DIFFER ON SOME ISSUE, SAY SO!
1.sexual dimorphism in body. How do the sexes differ in
general body features in these species? (Do not ignore the obvious sexual
2. sexual and
social relationships: How do these
3 species compare and contrast in regards to the sexual relationships and
related social relationships -- e.g. aggression, dominance, mating
-- How do these 3 species compare and contrast in regards to basic reproductive
functions, parental investment, and development (that is, how might parenting
affect the development of offspring into adults in both individual cases and
differentially in these three species?)
Aggression – situations and functions (3 parts)
1. Briefly describe an example of three different types of aggressive
behavior we have observed or read about.
Be sure to indicate species.
2. What is the possibly adaptive function
that these aggressive behaviors appears to serve? If none, say so. (say they are pathological behaviors (See notes for examples.)
3.What are some significant
differences in observed aggressive behavior within human, chimp, bonobo,
gorilla, and orangutan society? (One comment for each species.)
See old exams and topics above.
Look for one question from recent news items
Several questions will come from unused essay question