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The ability of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to recognize the correspondence between a scale model and its real-world referent was examined. In Experiments 1 and 2, an adult female and a young adult male watched as an experimenter hid a miniature model food in 1 of 4 sites in a scale model. Then, the chimpanzees were given the opportunity to find the real food item that had been hidden in the analogous location in the real room. The female performed significantly above chance, whereas the male performed at chance level. Experiments 3 and 4 tested 5 adult and 2 adolescent chimpanzees in a similar paradigm, using a scale model of the chimpanzees' outdoor area. Results indicate that some adult chimpanzees were able to reliably demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between a scale model and the larger space it represented, whereas other subjects were constrained by inefficient and unsuccessful search patterns.


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