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Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos

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Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos. / Shorland, Gladez; Genty, Emilie; Guéry, Jean-Pascal; Zuberbuhler, Klaus.

In: Behavioural Processes, Vol. 167, 103912, 10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Shorland, G, Genty, E, Guéry, J-P & Zuberbuhler, K 2019, 'Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos', Behavioural Processes, vol. 167, 103912. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912

APA

Shorland, G., Genty, E., Guéry, J-P., & Zuberbuhler, K. (2019). Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos. Behavioural Processes, 167, [103912]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912

Vancouver

Shorland G, Genty E, Guéry J-P, Zuberbuhler K. Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos. Behavioural Processes. 2019 Oct;167. 103912. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912

Author

Shorland, Gladez ; Genty, Emilie ; Guéry, Jean-Pascal ; Zuberbuhler, Klaus. / Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos. In: Behavioural Processes. 2019 ; Vol. 167.

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@article{6566232bcdd44adbaa2a5ef20da06dd9,
title = "Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos",
abstract = "A fruitful approach to investigate social learning in animals is based on paradigms involving the manipulation of artefacts. However, tool use and elaborate object manipulations are rare in natural conditions, suggesting that social learning evolved in other contexts where fitness consequences are higher, such as discriminating palatable from noxious foods, recognising predators or understanding social hierarchies. We focussed on one such context by investigating whether bonobos socially learned others’ arbitrary food preferences through mere observation. To this end, we trained two demonstrators to prefer or avoid distinctly coloured food items, treated with either a sweet or bitter agent. Demonstrators then displayed their newly acquired preferences in front of na{\"i}ve subjects. In subsequent choice tests, subjects generally matched their choices to the demonstrators’ preferred food colours, despite having already tasted the equally palatable colour alternative. Both age and exposure to demonstrator preference had a significant positive effect on the proportion of matched choices. Moreover, in a context where errors can be costly, social learning was instant insofar as six of seven subjects used socially learned information to influence their very first food choice. We discuss these findings in light of the current debate on the evolution of social learning in animals.",
keywords = "Cognition, Foraging, Nonhuman primate, Novel food, Pan paniscus, Social learning",
author = "Gladez Shorland and Emilie Genty and Jean-Pascal Gu{\'e}ry and Klaus Zuberbuhler",
note = "The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n°283871 and the Swiss National Science Foundation (Social learning in primate communication: 31003A_166458 / Coordinating joint action in apes: Testing the boundaries of the human interaction engine: CR31I3_159655).",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912",
language = "English",
volume = "167",
journal = "Behavioural Processes",
issn = "0376-6357",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Social learning of arbitrary food preferences in bonobos

AU - Shorland, Gladez

AU - Genty, Emilie

AU - Guéry, Jean-Pascal

AU - Zuberbuhler, Klaus

N1 - The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n°283871 and the Swiss National Science Foundation (Social learning in primate communication: 31003A_166458 / Coordinating joint action in apes: Testing the boundaries of the human interaction engine: CR31I3_159655).

PY - 2019/10

Y1 - 2019/10

N2 - A fruitful approach to investigate social learning in animals is based on paradigms involving the manipulation of artefacts. However, tool use and elaborate object manipulations are rare in natural conditions, suggesting that social learning evolved in other contexts where fitness consequences are higher, such as discriminating palatable from noxious foods, recognising predators or understanding social hierarchies. We focussed on one such context by investigating whether bonobos socially learned others’ arbitrary food preferences through mere observation. To this end, we trained two demonstrators to prefer or avoid distinctly coloured food items, treated with either a sweet or bitter agent. Demonstrators then displayed their newly acquired preferences in front of naïve subjects. In subsequent choice tests, subjects generally matched their choices to the demonstrators’ preferred food colours, despite having already tasted the equally palatable colour alternative. Both age and exposure to demonstrator preference had a significant positive effect on the proportion of matched choices. Moreover, in a context where errors can be costly, social learning was instant insofar as six of seven subjects used socially learned information to influence their very first food choice. We discuss these findings in light of the current debate on the evolution of social learning in animals.

AB - A fruitful approach to investigate social learning in animals is based on paradigms involving the manipulation of artefacts. However, tool use and elaborate object manipulations are rare in natural conditions, suggesting that social learning evolved in other contexts where fitness consequences are higher, such as discriminating palatable from noxious foods, recognising predators or understanding social hierarchies. We focussed on one such context by investigating whether bonobos socially learned others’ arbitrary food preferences through mere observation. To this end, we trained two demonstrators to prefer or avoid distinctly coloured food items, treated with either a sweet or bitter agent. Demonstrators then displayed their newly acquired preferences in front of naïve subjects. In subsequent choice tests, subjects generally matched their choices to the demonstrators’ preferred food colours, despite having already tasted the equally palatable colour alternative. Both age and exposure to demonstrator preference had a significant positive effect on the proportion of matched choices. Moreover, in a context where errors can be costly, social learning was instant insofar as six of seven subjects used socially learned information to influence their very first food choice. We discuss these findings in light of the current debate on the evolution of social learning in animals.

KW - Cognition

KW - Foraging

KW - Nonhuman primate

KW - Novel food

KW - Pan paniscus

KW - Social learning

U2 - 10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912

DO - 10.1016/j.beproc.2019.103912

M3 - Article

VL - 167

JO - Behavioural Processes

JF - Behavioural Processes

SN - 0376-6357

M1 - 103912

ER -

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