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Searching in the Middle-Capuchins' (Cebus apella) and Bonobos' (Pan paniscus) Behavior During a Spatial Search Task

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Author(s)

Patrizia Poti, Patricia Kanngiesser, Martina Saporiti, Alessandra Amiconi, Bettina Blaesing, Josep Call

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Abstract

In this study we show that bonobos and capuchin monkeys can learn to search in the middle of a landmark configuration in a small-scale space. Five bonobos (Pan paniscus) and 2 capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) were tested in a series of experiments with the expansion test paradigm. The primates were trained to search in the middle of a 4- or 2-landmark configuration, and were then tested with the same configuration expanded. Neither species searched in the middle of the expanded 4-landmark configuration. When presented with a 2-landmark configuration and a constant or variable inter-landmark training distance, the subjects sometimes searched preferentially in the middle of the expanded configuration. We discuss 2 alternative explanations of the results: extracting a middle rule or averaging between different goal-landmark vectors. In any case, compared to adult humans, primates appear highly constrained in their abilities to search in the middle of a configuration of detached landmarks. We discuss some of the factors that may influence the primates' behavior in this task.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-109
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

    Research areas

  • bonobos, capuchins, landmark configuration, middle rule, vector averaging, NUTCRACKERS NUCIFRAGA-COLUMBIANA, LANDMARK USE, GEOMETRIC RULE, PIGEONS, CONFIGURATION, CHILDREN, MONKEYS, HUMANS, SCREEN, TOUCH

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