Object Permanence in the Raccoon (Procyon Lotor)
Colbourne, Jennifer Anne
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Two studies are conducted to test object permanence in infant and adult raccoons. The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an omnivorous generalist known for its primate-like intelligence, but has never been given object permanence testing. In Study 1, infant raccoons (kits) of 12 and 16 weeks failed single visible displacement tasks conducted with either two or three cups as hiding places. Therefore, unlike other carnivores that have been tested, raccoon kits do not appear to have developed Stage V object permanence by the age of weaning or age of independence from the mother. Adult raccoons in Study 2 performed above chance on single visible displacements, but did not pass multiple visible displacements, invisible displacements, transpositions and rotations. These results suggest that the raccoon is limited to representing visible displacements, and is therefore a Stage V species.