Animal Cognition

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 751–754

How great is great ape foresight?

  • Thomas Suddendorf
  • Michael C. Corballis
  • Emma Collier-Baker


Osvath and Osvath (Anim Cogn 11: 661–674, 2008) report innovative studies with two chimpanzees and one orangutan that suggest some capacity to select and keep a tool for use about an hour later. This is a welcome contribution to a small, but rapidly growing, field. Here we point out some of the weaknesses in the current data and caution the interpretation the authors advance. It is not clear to what extent the apes really engaged in any foresight in these studies.


Great apes Foresight Mental time travel Episodic memory Bischof-Köhler hypothesis Prospection 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Suddendorf
    • 1
  • Michael C. Corballis
    • 2
  • Emma Collier-Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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