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Animal cognition 11 (2008) 255-266
Can brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) learn to deceive a human competitor ?
Emilie Genty1, Jean-Jacques Roeder1, Jane Foltz1

In the present study we asked whether lemurs could learn to manipulate information in order to deceive a human competitive trainer. Four brown lemurs were trained to communicate about the location of a hidden reward to a cooperative trainer, who rewarded the subject if he indicated the baited bowl. Next, a competitive trainer was introduced who kept the reward for himself if the subject indicated the baited bowl. In a Wrst experiment, sessions were randomly assigned to be with either the cooperative or competitive trainer. No subject was able to show an eYcient tactic with both trainers. In a second experiment, the participation of the two trainers was randomized across the trials for each session. When trials were mixed, one subject signiWcantly chose baited location when interacting with the cooperative trainer, and reliably increased his choices of the unbaited location when presented with the competitive trainer. As with most other primate species tested under the same paradigm, associative learning may explain deceptive pointing by lemurs in this study.
1 :  DEPE-IPHC - Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
Sciences du Vivant/Biodiversité/Evolution

Sciences cognitives/Psychologie
lemurs – cognition – deception – cooperation – competition