Monkeys know their actions have effects

Rhesus monkeys can understand that they are the cause of certain actions and they possess a form of self awareness.

The monkeys in a recent study were trained to move a cursor around a computer screen with a joystick while a distractor cursor partially matched their movements. The monkeys were able to select their cursor from a variety of choices at greater than chance levels.

“This suggests that the monkeys, like humans, have some understanding of self agency. This awareness or implicit sense that it is ‘me’ who is presently executing a bodily movement or thinking thoughts is an important form of self-awareness,” cognitive psychologist Justin J. Couchman said.

Read more at The University at Buffalo