Form perception and visual acuity in a chimpanzee.
A 6.5-year-old female chimpanzee learned to distinguish perfectly every letter of the alphabet in a matching-to-sample task with 26 letters as choice alternatives. Confusion of letters during the initial training was used to scale them in a multidimensional similarity space and to associate them in hierarchical clusters. The results resembled those obtained from similarity judgements by humans. Using letters of various sizes, a visual acuity test revealed that the chimpanzee’s acuity was about 1.5, comparable to that in normal humans. The chimpanzee also readily learned to use letters as names of individual humans and chimpanzees. A species-typical feature was identified in the perceptual processes associated with complex forms, such as those involved in individual recognition.
Chimpanzee, Form Perception, Visual Acuity, Perception Of Letters, Individual Recognition, Multidimensional Scaling, Cluster Analysis