Abstract # 145:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 04:30 PM-04:45 PM: Session 13 (Parliament Room) Oral Presentation

Mutual gaze in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

K. A. Bard1, M. Myowa-Yamakoshi2, M. Tomonaga3, M. Tanaka3, J. Quinn1, A. Costall1 and T. Matsuzawa3
1University of Portsmouth, UK, Psychology - King Henry Bldg., Centre for the Study of Emotion, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 2DY, United Kingdom, 2The University of Shiga Prefecture, Japan, 3Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan
     Is mutual gaze unique to humans? If not, do common developmental mechanisms support mutual gaze in chimpanzees and humans? We found that mutual gaze, defined as mother and infant looking at each others' face, occurred at a rate of 17 times per hour between mother and infant chimpanzees (11 pairs observed for 3 hours when infants were 1-, 2-, and 3-months of age), and occurred in positive, non-agonistic contexts. Mutual gaze occurred significantly more often at a Japanese center than at a US center, P < 0.05, η2 = 0.42. The group differences demonstrate flexibility in the development of mutual gaze in chimpanzees, suggesting that chimpanzees learn group-specific patterns. Time spent cradling infants was inversely related to mutual gaze when infants were 3-months of age, r (10) = -0.67, P < 0.05. It is suggested that mother-infant engagement is supported via an interchangeability of tactile and visual modalities. The basic primate system of engagement is supported by constant physical contact. When physical contact is not constant (in humans, western cultures compared with traditional societies; in chimpanzees, Japan center compared with US center) then visual engagement (i.e., mutual gaze) increases. The importance of mutual gaze is best understood within such comparative perspectives. Supported in part by The British Council-Japan, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (MEXT), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists, JSPS-HOPE, The Nuffield Foundation, Max-Planck Society, and RR-00165, RR-03591, HD-07105, and RR-06158.