Vocal Recognition and Social Knowledge in captive Tufted Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus apella) Open Access

Moss, Atlas (Spring 2023)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/n296x060n?locale=en


Individual recognition is a key ability for social animals, particularly primates. Recognizing individuals, tracking changing social relationships, deceiving others, and theory of mind may confer a fitness advantage to individuals living in complex groups and is thus considered an important factor in the development of the large brains in primates (Emery et al., 2007). In this study, I examine whether captive tufted capuchin monkeys are capable of individual recognition of outgroup members through signals encoded in their vocalizations, using acoustic analysis and playback experiments. Vocal recognition is particularly beneficial for wide-ranging arboreal species such as capuchins, as this allows them to maintain the socio-spatial makeup of their social systems (Briseño-Jaramillo et al., 2015). Acoustic analysis determined that capuchin food call vocalizations are individually distinct, providing potential for individual recognition. The preliminary results of the playback experiment did not reveal significant evidence towards varying behavior that could imply individual recognition. Further exploration with a greater number of trials and condition types will be needed for conclusive results. 

Table of Contents

1. Abstract 1

2. Introduction 1

3. Methods 7

           3.1 Acoustic Analysis 8

           3.2 Playback Experiment 12

4. Results 17

           4.1 Acoustic Analysis 17

           4.2 Playback Experiment 21

5. Discussion 25

6. References 30

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