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Title: Exploring attentional bias towards threatening faces in chimpanzees using the dot probe task
Authors: Wilson, Duncan A.
Tomonaga, Masaki
Author's alias: 友永, 雅己
Issue Date: 28-Nov-2018
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Journal title: PLOS ONE
Volume: 13
Issue: 11
Start page: e0207378
Abstract: Primates have evolved to rapidly detect and respond to danger in their environment. However, the mechanisms involved in attending to threatening stimuli are not fully understood. The dot-probe task is one of the most widely used experimental paradigms to investigate these mechanisms in humans. However, to date, few studies have been conducted in non-human primates. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the dot-probe task can measure attentional biases towards threatening faces in chimpanzees. Eight adult chimpanzees participated in a series of touch screen dot-probe tasks. We predicted faster response times towards chimpanzee threatening faces relative to neutral faces and faster response times towards faces of high threat intensity (scream) than low threat intensity (bared teeth). Contrary to prediction, response times for chimpanzee threatening faces relative to neutral faces did not differ. In addition, we found no difference in response times for faces of high and low threat intensity. In conclusion, we found no evidence that the touch screen dot-probe task can measure attentional biases specifically towards threatening faces in our chimpanzees. Methodological limitations of using the task to measure emotional attention in human and non-human primates, including stimulus threat intensity, emotional state, stimulus presentation duration and manual responding are discussed.
Rights: © 2018 Wilson, Tomonaga. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1371/journal.pone.0207378
PubMed ID: 30485317
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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