Scientific Reports 3, 1342

Brain response to affective pictures in the chimpanzee

Satoshi Hirata, Goh Matsuda, Ari Ueno, Hirokata Fukushima, Koki Fuwa, Keiko Sugama, Kiyo Kusunoki, Masaki Tomonaga, Kazuo Hiraki, Toshikazu Hasegawa


Advancement of non-invasive brain imaging techniques has allowed us to examine details of neural activities involved in affective processing in humans; however, no comparative data are available for chimpanzees, the closest living relatives of humans. In the present study, we measured event-related brain potentials in a fully awake adult chimpanzee as she looked at affective and neutral pictures. The results revealed a differential brain potential appearing 210 ms after presentation of an affective picture, a pattern similar to that in humans. This suggests that at least a part of the affective process is similar between humans and chimpanzees. The results have implications for the evolutionary foundations of emotional phenomena, such as emotional contagion and empathy.

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Hirata S, Matsuda G, Ueno A, Fukushima H, Fuwa K, Sugama K, Kusunoki K, Tomonaga M, Hiraki K, Hasegawa T (2013) Brain response to affective pictures in the chimpanzee Scientific Reports 3, 1342 , doi: 10.1038/srep01342