International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 81–98 | Cite as

Monkeys with mirrors: Some questions for primate psychology

  • James R. Anderson
Review Article


Monkeys do not appear to recognize themselves in mirrors but display social responses to the reflection. This article comprehensively reviews the literature concerning monkeys’ reactions to mirrors, describing the interest shown in reflections, the reinforcing effects of mirror-image stimulation, the social responses of the monkeys, their interpretation of objects reflected in a mirror, and their performance in tests of self-recognition. In all cases limitations of the methods employed restrict conclusions about the monkeys’ behavior. Detailed behavioral observations coupled with comparisons of the psychological properties of mirrors with those of other stimuli promise to reveal more useful information about cognitive mechanisms and abilities of monkeys and other primates.

Key words

primates mirrors self-recognition behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStirlingScotland, UK

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