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Journal Article

Differences in the nonverbal requests of great apes and human infants

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons86667

Van der Goot,  Marloes H.
Communication Before Language, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons73015

Tomasello,  Michael
Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons1060

Liszkowski,  Ulf
Communication Before Language, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;
University of Hamburg;

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Citation

Van der Goot, M. H., Tomasello, M., & Liszkowski, U. (2014). Differences in the nonverbal requests of great apes and human infants. Child Development, 85(2), 444-455. doi:10.1111/cdev.12141.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-61D7-8
Abstract
This study investigated how great apes and human infants use imperative pointing to request objects. In a series of three experiments (infants, N = 44; apes, N = 12), subjects were given the opportunity to either point to a desired object from a distance or else to approach closer and request it proximally. The apes always approached close to the object, signaling their request through instrumental actions. In contrast, the infants quite often stayed at a distance, directing the experimenters' attention to the desired object through index-finger pointing, even when the object was in the open and they could obtain it by themselves. Findings distinguish 12-month-olds' imperative pointing from ontogenetic and phylogenetic earlier forms of ritualized reaching.