Imitative Learning

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
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The mimetic process is everywhere in the animal kingdom. The mimetic process involves different aspects that may have different cognitive mechanisms. It consists of contagion, local enhancement, goal emulation, and (true) imitation, etc. Imitation means the behavior of making the strict copy of the model's behavior. This is a uniquely human trait. Chimpanzees often understand the goal and try a different way to get the goal: This kind of mimetic process is named goal emulation. Monkeys often pay attention to the end result and try various ways to get it: This is called local enhancement. 


  1. Spontaneous cross-species imitation in interactions between chimpanzees and zoo visitors, Persson, Tomas, Sauciuc Gabriela-Alina, and Madsen Elainie Alenkær , 2017/08/16, (2017)