Capuchin monkeys ( Cebus apella) do not match the actions of a ghost condition or live model. Open Access

Calcutt, Sarah Elizabeth (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/h989r4234?locale=en
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Abstract


Abstract
Capuchin monkeys ( Cebus apella) do not match the actions of a ghost condition or live
model.
Although many species rely on social learning, the exact mechanisms that animals
employ to gain knowledge from one another are still unknown. Some researchers view
social learning as a hierarchy with imitation as the most cognitively demanding form of
social learning followed by emulation and then stimulus enhancement. This view, though,
is changing, due in part, to the discovery of mirror neuron mechanisms that are thought to
regulate action understanding at a subconscious level. While investigating social learning,
some researchers have confounded study results by using conspecific models
interchangeably with human models without a systematic analysis of how these different
conditions might influence the type of information that an animal acquires. To further
explore means of social learning as well as account for inconsistencies in choice of social
model, this study investigated social learning mechanisms in capuchin monkeys by
comparing the degree to which a test subject copied a conspecific model, a human model
and a ghost condition. We found that the test subjects' decision making was not
influenced by a ghost condition and they did not match the actions of a conspecific or
human model. Since there was no statistical difference in matching between the model
conditions the results of this study indicate that our test subjects did not use social means
to determine the affordances of the test apparatus.


Capuchin monkeys ( Cebus apella) do not match the actions of a ghost condition or live
model.
Advisor: F.B.M. de Waal, Ph.D
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies of
Emory University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of
Arts in Psychology 2012

Table of Contents


Table of Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................................1
Methods ...............................................................................................................................4
Results .................................................................................................................................7
Figure 1 ........................................................................................................................................9
Figure 2 ......................................................................................................................................10

Discussion .........................................................................................................................11
References .........................................................................................................................15
Appendix I: Additional Methods ....................................................................................18
Model choice and training .......................................................................................................18
Protocol for subjects that aborted trials .................................................................................18
Video recording .........................................................................................................................19
Table 1 .......................................................................................................................................20
Photograph 1 .............................................................................................................................20

Appendix II: Experiment II ............................................................................................21
Methods .....................................................................................................................................21
Results and Interpretation .......................................................................................................22

Appendix III: Experiment III .........................................................................................23
Methods .....................................................................................................................................23
Results and Interpretation .......................................................................................................23

Appendix IV: Further Statistical Analysis ....................................................................24
Analysis by group .....................................................................................................................24
Analysis by sex ..........................................................................................................................24
Matching across trials ..............................................................................................................25

Figure 1 ..............................................................................................................................26
Figure 2 ..............................................................................................................................27
Appendix references .................................................................................................................28





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