What is it about?

This study found that chimpanzees attend to conspecific threatening faces longer than neutral faces in a touchscreen visual search task. The ability of the scream faces to hold attention for longer is most likely explained by the presence of the teeth.

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Why is it important?

The study provides further support that an attentional bias towards threatening faces is a shared trait in primates, which can be traced back to at least the last common ancestor of Old-World monkeys and apes.


We are grateful to the staff at the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, for their daily care of the chimpanzees. This research was financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Duncan Wilson
Kyoto University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Search asymmetries for threatening faces in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)., Journal of Comparative Psychology, February 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/com0000302.
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