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Monkeys Show Empathy, Says French Study

Update Date: Dec 03, 2015 08:16 AM EST
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In a study, it has been found that monkeys can feel empathy, which shows how close primates and humans are, according to the Daily Mail.

Sebastien Ballestaa and Jean-René Duhamel at the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience in Bron and the University of Lyon conducted the experiment.

The study was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences They explained that macaques "take the welfare of their friends into account when making behavior choices that could reward or punish their peers."

Scientists paired 14 long-tailed macaques and rhesus macaques. With every prompt, the monkeys could opt for giving their partner a reward of juice, or directing an unpleasant blast of air in their eyes, according to HNGN.

"Most monkeys were inclined to refrain from delivering a mildly aversive airpuff and to grant juice rewards to their partner," wrote the scientists.

Scientists found that eight of the 14 monkeys showed a tendency to reward their fellows. About four were indifferent and two seemed "anti-social."

With eye-tracking technology, the researchers could check whether the monkeys got influenced or not by their choices.

"Our results thus provide evidence of partner-dependent behavioral mechanisms shaping primates' social decisions," the scientists wrote.

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