Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Chimpanzees’ behavioral flexibility, social tolerance and use of tool-composites in a progressively challenging foraging problem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Author(s)

Rachel A. Harrison, Edwin van Leeuwen, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Behavioral flexibility is a critical ability allowing animals to respond to changes in their environment. Previous studies have found evidence of inflexibility when captive chimpanzees are faced with changing task parameters. We provided two groups of sanctuary-housed chimpanzees with a foraging task in which solutions were restricted over time. Initially, juice could be retrieved from within a tube by hand or by using tool materials, but effective solutions were then restricted by narrowing the tube, necessitating the abandonment of previous solutions and adoption of new ones. Chimpanzees responded flexibly, but one group increased their use of effective techniques to a greater extent than the other. Tool-composite techniques emerged in both groups, but primarily in the more flexible group. The more flexible group also showed higher rates of socio-positive behaviors at the task. In conjunction, these findings support the hypothesis that social tolerance may facilitate the emergence and spread of novel behaviors.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number102033
JournaliScience
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2021

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Why do chimpanzees have diverse behavioral repertoires yet lack more complex cultures? Invention and social information use in a cumulative task

    Vale, G. L., McGuigan, N., Burdett, E., Lambeth, S. P., Lucas, A., Rawlings, B., Schapiro, S. J., Watson, S. K. & Whiten, A., 16 Dec 2020, In: Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Does culture shape hunting behavior in bonobos?

    Whiten, A., 1 Sep 2020, In: eLife. 9, 3 p., e62104.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

  3. Refining our understanding of the "elephant in the room"

    Whiten, A., 10 Aug 2020, In: The Behavioral and brain sciences. 43, p. e182

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. A unified account of culture should accommodate animal cultures

    Whiten, A., 28 May 2020, In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 43, e118.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

  5. Wild chimpanzees scaffold youngsters’ learning in a high-tech community

    Whiten, A., 14 Jan 2020, In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 2, p. 802-804 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. [Pd(NHC)(μ-Cl)Cl]2: versatile and highly reactive complexes for cross-coupling reactions that avoid formation of inactive Pd(I) off-cycle products

    Zhou, T., Ma, S., Nahra, F., Obled, A. M. C., Poater, A., Cavallo, L., Cazin, C. S. J., Nolan, S. P. & Szostak, M., 21 Aug 2020, In: iScience. 23, 8, 101377.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Morphological, chemical, and electronic changes of the conjugated polymer PTB7 with thermal annealing

    Savikhin, V., Jagadamma, L. K., Purvis, L. J., Robertson, I., Oosterhout, S. D., Douglas, C. J., Samuel, I. D. W. & Toney, M. F., 27 Apr 2018, In: iScience. 2, p. 182-192 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 272210355

Top