• a recent study has shown that these monkeys can be taught to use mirrors in the laboratory. The notion that self-awareness is a skill that can be learned through repetition could ultimately influence future treatments for some human brain disorders.
  • In cognitive science, the bar for mirror self-recognition is the Mark Test. Subjects (human or otherwise) are considered self-aware once they can look in a mirror and notice the tiny, odorless marks that had been painted on their faces while they were asleep. Dolphins, gorillas and Asian elephants have all passed the Mark Test. Until now, rhesus monkeys have always failed.
  • The researchers began by shining a mildly irritating red laser onto each monkey’s face. They rewarded the monkeys each time they touched the affected area. After days of training, the researchers switched to a non-irritating red laser light. After only a few weeks of training, the monkeys began to use the mirror to find the red laser dot and touch the affected parts of their faces.

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