Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Byrne & Russon: Learning by imitation

No imitation without identification

Frans B. M. de Waal a1
a1 Living Links Center, Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center and Psychology Department, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329


We cannot solve questions about imitative learning without knowing what motivates animals to copy others. Imitative capacities can be expected to be most pronounced in relation to situations and models of great social significance. Experimental research on nonhuman primates has thus far made little effort to present such situations and models.