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Latest Frans de Waal Stories

Compassion Can Be Exhibited By Elephants
2014-02-18 10:02:41

[ Watch the Video: What Do Elephants And Humans Have In Common? ] Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online People often reflexively put their arm around someone else in distress and a new study from researchers at Emory University in the journal PeerJ has found that elephants also console each other in times of need. Study author Joshua Plotnik, a graduate student at Emory, said the physical touches and vocalizations he and his co-author recorded are the first bits of...

Young Bonobos Regulate Emotions Similar To Human Children
2013-10-15 08:13:32

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Striking similarities between the emotional development of bonobos and that of human children have been discovered by researchers studying young primates in an African sanctuary. The discovery, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that these great apes regulate their emotions in a human-like way. These findings are important to the study of human evolutionary history because it reveals that...

Ultimatum Game Shows Chimps Can Practice Fairness
2013-01-15 04:39:10

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Chimpanzees possess a sense of fairness that scientists previously attributed as being solely human, a new study from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University, and Georgia State University demonstrates. To determine how sensitive chimps are to the reward distribution between two individuals if both need to agree on the outcome, the researchers played the Ultimatum Game with them. The findings of this study,...

2012-09-04 10:45:34

Scorekeeping of past favors isn't, however, a factor While exchanging favors with others, humans tend to think in terms of tit-for-tat, an assumption easily extended to other animals. As a result, reciprocity is often viewed as a cognitive feat requiring memory, perhaps even calculation. But what if the process is simpler, not only in other animals but in humans as well? Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have determined monkeys may gain the...

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2011-08-09 10:55:00

Scientists, wondering for years how long ago our so-called prosocial behavior evolved, have recently found that chimpanzees also have a significant favoritism for prosocial behavior, which is in contrast to previous studies that positioned chimps as reluctant altruists that led to the widely held belief that human altruism evolved in the last six million years only after humans split from apes. In a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS),...

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2011-04-08 09:05:00

Contagious yawning is not just a marker of sleepiness or boredom. For chimpanzees, it may actually be a sign of a social connection between individuals.New research at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, may help scientists understand empathy, the mechanism thought to underlie contagious yawning, in both chimpanzees and humans. The research also may help show how social biases strengthen or weaken empathy.Scientists at Yerkes discovered chimpanzees yawn more after...

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2011-04-06 08:25:33

By Carol Clark, Emory University It's been a puzzle why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus. Now, a comparative analysis of their brains shows neuroanatomical differences that may be responsible for these behaviors, from the aggression more typical of chimpanzees to the social tolerance of bonobos. "What's remarkable is that the data appears to match what we know about the human brain and...

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2008-08-26 08:10:00

Researchers found monkeys are more generous with friends compared to strangers, and demonstrated advanced prosocial tendencies, according to a new study. Scientists gathered data on capuchin monkeys at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta. During the experiment, monkeys were given a choice of receiving a food reward, or receiving a food reward and also having another monkey receive food.When the monkeys were paired with relative or "friend" they...

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2008-06-17 10:55:04

Researchers have discovered that chimpanzees use hugs and kisses to reduce stress in chimps that were victims of aggression."Consolation usually took the form of a kiss or embrace," said Dr. Orlaith N. Fraser of the Research Center in Evolutionary Anthropology and Paleoecology at Liverpool John Moores University in England."This is particularly interesting," she said, because this behavior is rarely seen other than after a conflict."If a kiss was used, the consoler would press his or her open...

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2005-06-09 20:30:00

ATLANTA -- Why are some people shy while others are outgoing? A study in the current issue of Science demonstrates for the first time that social behavior may be shaped by differences in the length of seemingly non-functional DNA, sometimes referred to as junk DNA. The finding by researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University and the Atlanta-based Center for Behavioral Neuroscience (CBN) has implications for understanding human social behavior and disorders,...