To : John Brawley Subj: Chimps + mirrors As SUE told JOHN about EVOLUTION MYTHOS on 062594

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From: Ed Haynes 28 Jun 94 17:51 To : John Brawley Subj: Chimps & mirrors As SUE told JOHN about EVOLUTION MYTHOS on 06-25-94 11:19 JB> (A chimp, it is said, when a paint mark is JB> put on its face where the chimp can't see it or feel it and JB> then the chimp is put in front of a mirror, can apparently JB> tell that the chimp-in-the-mirror is _itself_: it scratches at JB> the paint on its own face, not the paint on the face of the JB> chimp-in-the-mirror. John, you might be interested in this from Dean Falk's BRAINDANCE pg.53; "Chimpanzees are smart. Very smart. For one thing, they have an acute ability to remember the exact location of hidden objects. This particular sense may even be better developed in chimpanzees than in people. And chimpanzees can also solve fairly complex puzzles, such as ones that involve locks and keys, or mazes. Moreover, in a series of intriguing experiments with mirrors, Gordon Gallup, professor of psychology at the State University of New York in Albany, demonstrated that, unlike monkeys, chimpanzees have a sense of "me" or self. To show this, Gallup painted red dye over the eyebrows and on the ears of a variety of anesthetized animals, who were then placed near mirrors. Upon waking and looking into the mirror, most of the animals did not appear to recognize the vandalized reflections as their own, although some of them did investigate the red patches on that other animal in the mirror. Not so for Gallup's chimpanzees. As I like to tell my students: The chimpanzees woke up, looked in the mirror with horror, touched their own ears and eyebrows (not their mirror image's), and then sobbed, "Oh my God, who did this to me?"" Ed ====================================================== Mitchell lists four different "levels" of self-awareness in a paper which delves into the issues in mirror tests and self consciousness. There are problems with blithe acceptance of the mark test as an indicator of self-awareness. If an individual passes the mark test, is it because it was able to map the visual image in the mirror to a self concept, or is it common for individuals of that species to check themselves for transient conditions noticed in others? Even if we accept the mark test as telling us something about self-awareness, what level of self-awareness is indicated? Wesley R. Elsberry


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