How to explain, however, when the individual has nothing to gain empathic behavior, which becomes strictly altruistic? Experience has shown that rhesus monkeys refused several days, drawing on releasing a string of food if the action sent an electric shock to a companion they saw the seizures. Preferring to endure hunger, assisting at the suffering of a kind.
Self-protection against a disturbing spectacle? But why then capuchin monkey lab with the choice between two chips of different colors, one of which earned him a piece of apple while the other also ensures that a reward partner opts does for providing a token gratuity policy? Better still, why a chimpanzee opens he door he knows it will provide access to food to a mate, but not himself?
For Frans de Wall, the answer lies in one word: empathy, specifically, or concern for the welfare of others and for acne. Even when the other does not belong to the same species as itself. We have seen in a zoo, a Bengal tiger feeding piglets. A bonobo hoist a lifeless bird on top of a tree to try to make it fly. Or a chimp returned to the water a duckling manhandled by young monkeys.
In its simplest form, the "sympathy" animal - a term used by Darwin himself - not only mobilizes cognitive complex, deemed proper to man. It involves, outlines the ethologist, pure emotional mechanisms for acne. Mice thus more sensitive to pain when they have been suffering from other mice in which they are familiar. However, cognitive processes are involved in compassionate ways more complex, requiring to put in place of another. As when a chimpanzee abandons his business to come cheer a fellow assaulted during a brawl.