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Data from: Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) recognize their own past actions

Cite this dataset

Hanazuka, Yuki; Shimizu, Mika; Takaoka, Hidemasa; Midorikawa, Akira (2018). Data from: Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) recognize their own past actions [Dataset]. Dryad.


The ability to recognize oneself in a mirror is known as self-recognition, whereas delayed self-recognition is the ability to recognize the relationship between current self and past actions. While 3-year-old human children have self-recognition without the ability for delayed self-recognition, 4-year-old human children demonstrate the capability for both. Chimpanzees, the most closely related species to humans, have displayed the ability for delayed self-recognition. However, little is known about whether this ability is shared amongst all hominid species. In this study, we examined whether orangutans, the most distantly related species to humans within the hominid group, could recognize their own past actions using the preferential-looking paradigm. Our results demonstrated that orangutans were able to discriminate between a delayed video of themselves presented after a 2-second delay, and a recorded video of the day prior. This suggests that orangutans have the ability to relate their own past actions to current actions, although we found no evidence of self-directed behavior. We believe these findings will contribute to our growing understanding of hominid self-recognition.

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