Animal Cognition Volume 6, Number 4, 253-258

Perception of depth from shading in infant chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Tomoko Imura, Masaki Tomonaga

Abstract

We investigated the ability to perceive depth from shading, one of the pictorial depth cues, in three chimpanzee infants aged 4–10 months old, using a preferential reaching task commonly used to study pictorial depth perception in human infants. The chimpanzee infants reached significantly more to three-dimensional toys than to pictures thereof and more to the three-dimensional convex than to the concave. Furthermore, two of the three infants reached significantly more to the photographic convex than to the photographic concave. These infants also looked longer at the photographic convex than the concave. Our results suggest that chimpanzees perceive, at least as early as the latter half of the first year of life, pictorial depth defined by shading information. Photographic convexes contain richer information about pictorial depth (e.g., attached shadow, cast shadow, highlighted area, and global difference in brightness) than simple computer-graphic graded patterns. These cues together might facilitate the infantsrsquo perception of depth from shading.

Keywords

Depth from shading, Reaching, Looking time, Chimpanzees, Infants

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Imura T, Tomonaga M (2003) Perception of depth from shading in infant chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) Animal Cognition Volume 6, Number 4, 253-258 , doi: 10.1007/s10071-003-0188-5