Imitation of Body Movements Facilitated by Joint Attention through Eye Contact and Pointing in Japanese Monkey

Kumashiro, Mari; Yokoyama, Osamu; Ishibashi, Hidetoshi
November 2008
PLoS ONE;2008, Vol. 3 Issue 11, p1
Academic Journal
Eye contact and pointing are typical gestures in order to direct another individual's attention toward a target. We previously investigated on Japanese monkeys whether joint attention ability encouraged by eye contact and pointing was associated with the imitation of human's actions. The monkeys with the joint attention skills showed the imitation of human's actions. In the current study, we investigated on a monkey whether joint attention ability also facilitated the imitation of human body-movements. Results showed that the monkey being taught eye contact and pointing showed the imitation of human body-movements. These results suggest that the monkeys have basic potential for following another individual's motion, and that what imitation expresses depends on where the monkeys are paying attention. Thus, eye contact and pointing are suitable for directing the monkey's attention toward the human.


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