Apes regulate their emotions in a human-like way, suggests a new study.
Researchers studying young bonobos in an African sanctuary have discovered striking similarities between the emotional development of the bonobos and that of children.
This is important to human evolutionary history because it shows the socio-emotional framework commonly applied to children works equally well for apes.
Using this framework, researchers can test predictions of great ape behavior and, as in the case of this study, confirm humans and apes share many aspects of emotional functioning.
Zanna Clay, PhD, and Frans de Waal, PhD, of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, conducted the study at a bonobo sanctuary near Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.