, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Do infant Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) categorize objects without specific training?

  • Chizuko Murai
  • Masaki Tomonaga
  • Kimi Kamegai
  • Naoko Terazawa
  • Masami K. Yamaguchi
Original Article


In the present study, we examined whether infant Japanese macaques categorize objects without any training, using a similar technique also used with human infants (the paired-preference method). During the familiarization phase, subjects were presented twice with two pairs of different objects from one global-level category. During the test phase, they were presented twice with a pair consisting of a novel familiar-category object and a novel global-level category object. The subjects were tested with three global-level categories (animal, furniture, and vehicle). It was found that they showed significant novelty preferences as a whole, indicating that they processed similarities between familiarization objects and novel familiar-category objects. These results suggest that subjects responded distinctively to objects without training, indicating the possibility that infant macaques possess the capacity for categorization.


Infant Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscataPaired-preference method Spontaneous categorization 



We would like to thank Shoji Itakura, James R. Anderson, and Daisuke Kosugi for their invaluable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. The care and use of the monkeys adhered to the 1986 version of the manual "Care and use of laboratory primates" of the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, and the experimental designs were accepted by the Animal Welfare and Animal Care Committee of the Institute.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chizuko Murai
    • 1
  • Masaki Tomonaga
    • 2
  • Kimi Kamegai
    • 2
  • Naoko Terazawa
    • 2
  • Masami K. Yamaguchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Graduate School of LettersKyoto UniversitySakyoJapan
  2. 2.Section of Language and Intelligence, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Psychology, Faculty of LettersChuo UniversityHachiojiJapan

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