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COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF MANIPULATIVE SKILLS IN CHIMPANZEES AND HUMANS $100.00
Authors:  Misato Hayashi and Hideko Takeshita
Abstract:
Manipulative activity is based on both manual motor skills and cognitive
development. Humans and chimpanzees, the closest living relatives of human beings,
share manual dexterity in manipulating objects in their daily lives. Chimpanzees are also
known to use tools in their natural habitat to achieve a variety of goals. This chapter
reports the findings gained by assigning tasks using identical objects conducted in a faceto-
face situation for chimpanzees and human children. Manipulative skills in both species
were analyzed as a non-verbal scale for direct comparison by focusing on their
manipulative patterns. Tasks using blocks of different shapes were designed to test
physical understanding involved in making a vertical stack. The subjects were required to
selectively use appropriate orientation of differently-shaped blocks in order to stack them
efficiently. The subjects acquired the solution of manually changing the orientation of the
blocks to the appropriate one. The results illuminated a fundamental similarity between
chimpanzees and humans. Tasks using nesting cups were originally designed to assess
cognitive development in human children by analyzing the behavioral strategies of
combining multiple cups into a nesting structure. The manipulation of nesting cups was
described in a form of sequential codes in both chimpanzees and humans to illuminate the
patterns of making a hierarchical combination among objects. Some of the subjects from
both species succeeded in making a nesting structure with nine cups. The subjects tried to
solve the task by reducing the number of cup units and by combining cups in an
appropriate order. In sum, manipulative behavior revealed high levels of physical
intelligence shared by chimpanzees and humans. 


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COMPARATIVE STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF MANIPULATIVE SKILLS IN CHIMPANZEES AND HUMANS