Vicarious learning from human models in monkeys

Rossella Falcone, Emiliano Brunamonti, Aldo Genovesio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We examined whether monkeys can learn by observing a human model, through vicarious learning. Two monkeys observed a human model demonstrating an object-reward association and consuming food found underneath an object. The monkeys observed human models as they solved more than 30 learning problems. For each problem, the human models made a choice between two objects, one of which concealed a piece of apple. In the test phase afterwards, the monkeys made a choice of their own. Learning was apparent from the first trial of the test phase, confirming the ability of monkeys to learn by vicarious observation of human models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere40283
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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