These gestures change or negate the message conveyed by other gestures.

Testing (chi-square) showed that a significantly larger number of strings containing “negative” gestures resulted in “no contact (within 5 seconds)" between gorillas; whereas, non-negative gestures resulted in contact within 5 seconds.

Examples: hide playface, wrist glance

How many hide playfaces can you find in the video clip?

For more information:

Tanner, Joanne E. & Byrne, Richard W. (1993). Concealing facial evidence of mood: perspective-taking in a captive gorilla? Primates, 34(4), 451-457.


- Dr. Joanne Tanner

- Charles Ernest



SF Zoo Gorillas

Gorilla Gestures Intro


- Why Create Gestures

- Tactile

- Visual

- Audible

- Iconic

- Imitation

- Phrases/Exchanges

    - Attention Getters

    - Motion Depiction

    - Indicators

    - Negatives

- Other Zoos

- Gesture Table

- Triadic Play Intro

- Triadic Play Research


Copyright © 2010 Tanner and Ernest Productions. All rights reserved.