Animal Cognition

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 85–90

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
  3. 3.Language Research Center, Georgia State University, 3401 Panthersville Road, Decatur, GA 30034, USA

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