, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 515–529 | Cite as

Versuche zur Symbol-Ereignis-Verknüpfung bei einer Zwergschimpansen (Pan paniscus Schwarz, 1929)

  • Claudia Jordan
  • Heimo Jordan


According toFiedler (1956) the pygmy chimpanzee is considered to be a separate species of the pongidae. Therefore, our investigations with a young female pygmy chimpanzee had two special aims. First, we hoped to collect some facts concerning the transferability of the experiments ofPremack (1971) within the great apes; he investigated the language skills of a common chimpanzee. Besides, we wanted to test the intellectual abilities of this littel known primate species.

Pieces of wood, differing in color and shape, were used as symbols. At both sides, there was a magnet to hang them on an iron board. The subject had to choose between two or more signs out of three groups: food symbols, activity symbols and quantity symbols. The hanging up of one, later of two correlated symbols was followed by a special event for each of them. There is high concordance between the subject’s preferring of events and its preferring of symbols. The correlation-coefficient for food and food signs is as high as 0.95. Nearly without mistake is the subject’s use of the much/little signs in connection with the food symbols. The rate of error in general is between 10–20% and is in accordance to the corresponding results mentioned byPremack (1971). The way the subject learned the meaning of the symbols changed from slow to sudden comprehension. In general, these results provide further evidence of the high intelligence level of pygmy chimpanzees.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Cole, J., 1952. The relative importance of color and form in discrimination learning in monkeys.J. comp. physiol. Psychol., 46: 16–18.Google Scholar
  2. Dücker, G., 1961. Farbensinn bei Säugetieren.Umschau, 8: 231–232.Google Scholar
  3. Fouts, R. S., 1974. Language: Origins, definitions and chimpanzees.J. hum. Evol., 3: 483–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gardner, R. A. &B. T. Gardner, 1969. Teaching sign language to a chimpanzee.Science, 165: 664–672.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Grether, W. F., 1940. Chimpanzee color vision I–III.J. comp. Psychol., 29. 167–177, 179–186, & 187–192.Google Scholar
  6. Harlow, H. F., 1945. Studies in discrimination learning by monkeys: VI. Discriminations between stimuli differing in both color and form, only in color, and only in form.J. gen. Psychol., 33: 225–235.Google Scholar
  7. ————, 1959. Learning set and error factor theory. In:Psychology: a Study of a Science,S. Koch (ed.), McGraw-Hill, New York, Vol. 2, pp. 492–537.Google Scholar
  8. Hayes, K. J. &C. H. Nissen, 1971. Higher mental functions of a home-raised chimpanzee. In:Behavior of Nonhuman Primates,A. M. Schrier &F. Stollnitz (eds.), Academic press, New York, Vol. 4, pp. 60–115.Google Scholar
  9. Hicks, L. H., 1955. An analysis of number-concept formation in the rhesus monkey.J. comp. physiol. Psychol., 48: 212–218.Google Scholar
  10. Hübsch, I., 1970. Einiges zum Verhalten der Zwergschimpansen und der Schimpansen im Frankfurter Zoo.Zool. Garten, 38: 107–132.Google Scholar
  11. Kapune, T., 1966. Untersuchungen zur Bildung eines Wertbegriffes bei niederen Primaten.Z. Tierpsychol., 23: 324–363.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kellogg, W. N., 1968. Communication and language in the home-raised chipanzee.Science, 162: 423–472.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Levine, M., 1965. Hypothesis behavior. In:Behavior of Nonhuman Primates,A. M. Schrier,H. F. Harlow, &F. Stollnitz (eds.), Academic Press, New York, Vol. 1, pp. 97–127.Google Scholar
  14. Lieberman, P. H., D. H. Klatt, &W. H. Wilson, 1969, Vocal tract limitations on the vowel repertoires of the rhesus monkey and other nonhuman primates.Science, 164: 1185–1187.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Nissen, H. W. &W. O. Jenkins, 1943. Reduction and rivalry of cues in the discrimination behavior in chimpanzees.J. comp. Psychol., 35: 85–95.Google Scholar
  16. Premack, D., 1971. On the assessment of language competence in the chimpanzee. In:Behavior of Nonhuman Primates,A. M. Schrier &F. Stollnitz (eds.), Academic press, New York, Vol. 4, pp. 186–228.Google Scholar
  17. Rensch, B., 1957. Ästhetische Faktoren bei Farb- und Formbevorzugungen von Affen.Z. Tierpsych., 14: 71–99.Google Scholar
  18. ————, 1965, Über ästhetische Faktoren im Erleben höherer Tiere,n + m, 2: 43–57.Google Scholar
  19. Rumbaugh, D. M., 1970. Learning skills of anthropoids. In:Primate Behavior,L. A. Rosenblum (ed.), Academic press, New York, Vol. 1, pp. 1–70.Google Scholar
  20. ————,E. V. Glasersfeld, H. Warner, P, Pisani, &T. V. Gill, 1974. Lana (chimpanzee) learning language: a progress report.Brain and Language, 1: 205–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schusterman, R. J., 1963. The use of strategies in two choice behavior of children and chimpanzees.J. comp. physiol. Psychol., 56: 96–100.Google Scholar
  22. Schwarz, E., 1929. Das Vorkommen der Schimpansen auf dem linken Kongo-Ufer.Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. Tervueren, 16.Google Scholar
  23. Warren, J. M., 1953. Effect of geometrical regularity on visual form discrimination by monkeys.J. comp. physiol. Psychol., 46: 237–240.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Jordan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Heimo Jordan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Universität Frankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Arbeitsgruppe Physiologie und Ökologie des Verhaltens6 Frankfurt/MainBundesrepublik Deutschland

Personalised recommendations