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Animal Cognition

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 85–90 | Cite as

Single-trial learning of "what" and "who" information in a gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): implications for episodic memory

  • Bennett L. Schwartz
  • Melanie R. Colon
  • Isabel C. Sanchez
  • Isabel Rodriguez
  • Siân Evans
Original Article

Abstract.

Single-trial learning and long-term memory of "what" and "who" information were examined in an adult gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). We presented the gorilla with a to-be-remembered food item at the time of study. In Experiment 1, following a retention interval of either approximately 7 min or 24 h, the gorilla responded with one of five cards, each corresponding to a particular food. The gorilla was accurate on 70% of the short retention-interval trials and on 82% of the long retention-interval trials. In Experiment 2, the food stimulus was provided by one of two experimenters, each of whom was represented by a card. The gorilla identified the food (55% of the time) and the experimenter (82% of the time) on the short retention-interval trials. On the long retention-interval trials, the gorilla was accurate for the food (73%) and for the person (87%). The results are interpreted in light of theories of episodic memory.

Primates Gorillas Memory Episodic memory Single-trial learning 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bennett L. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Melanie R. Colon
    • 2
  • Isabel C. Sanchez
    • 2
  • Isabel Rodriguez
    • 1
  • Siân Evans
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Florida International University, University Park, Miami, FL 33199, USA
  2. 2.DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests, 14805 SW 216 Street, Miami, FL 33170, USA

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