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The neural basis of empathetic systems

開催日 2014/9/13
時間 17:10 - 19:10
会場 Room B(501)
Chairperson(s) 菊水 健史 / Takefumi Kikusui (麻布大学獣医学部 / School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Japan)

Empathy-related behaviors in monkeys and dogs

  • S3-B-3-2
  • 藤田 和生 / Kazuo Fujita:1 
  • 1:京都大院・文・心理 / Grad Sch Letters, Kyoto Univ, Kyoto, Japan 

Humans often show prosocial activities to unrelated individuals even if return is not expected. How do we acquire this apparently non-adaptive behavior? Recent studies in nonhuman animals have suggested that they show variously different forms of prosocial activities. For instance chimpanzees help others in need if but only if requested. Capuchin monkeys may choose options that lead to benefit in others. Young infants also help actors in trouble and prefer agents who help others to those who do not. These results suggest evolutionary background of human prosocial motivation. Human moral decision may be preinstalled in their genes that supposedly have long evolutionary history. In this talk, I will present several experiments conducted in our laboratory supposedly related to empathy in tufted capuchin monkeys and dogs. First, capuchin monkeys were tested whether they prosocially share food to their group mates by unlocking the door separating the two compartments. We found that they did it, but only after the donor monkey ate up his favorite food. We are now testing the situation in which the food for the donor is secured. In the next three experiments, capuchin monkeys were tested whether they socially evaluate people as a third-party participants. In one, an actor requested the other for help. The second actor either helped or not. After this interaction, both actors offered food to the witness monkey. The monkeys were more reluctant to receive the food from the nonhelping actor. In the second, two actors exchanged items each other but not always reciprocally. The monkeys shunned receiving food from the actor who did not reciprocate. In the third, two actors again exchanged items and one of them overreciprocated. The monkeys preferred receiving food from this generous actor. We also conducted a similar experiment in dogs. They also shunned to receive food from nonhelping actor. These results suggest various empathy-related behaviors, or motivation, may be shared in nonhuman primates and, possibly, in dogs.

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