Abstract # 13108 Event # 171:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2018 10:15 AM-10:30 AM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


THE COGNITIVE CAPABILITIES OF THE SIAMANG (SYMPHALANGUS SYNDACTYLUS)

G. M. Munir and P. Nealen
Indiana University of Pennsylvania , 1011 South Drive , Indiana , Pa 15705, USA
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     Comprehensive cognitive testing has been completed with zoologically housed siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus; hylobatids; Hylobatidae) using Monkey CANTAB cognition testing software (Lafayette-Campden Neuroscience) and a touchscreen apparatus. Five different operant tests examining distinctive perceptual and cognitive functions were used to train and test each subject over a period of ca. 5 weeks. Over 1500 cognitive trials were completed with 3 subjects. Siamangs completed several cognitive tests well above chance level, with performance levels that meet or exceed results obtained in previous similar experiments with Old World monkey species (including macaques [sp. Macaca] and baboons [sp. Papio]). In addition, for some tests, siamang results closely match those of great apes (sp. Gorilla) tested in similar experiments. These data comprise the first successful tests of a hylobatid ape using modern cognitive testing methods such as touchscreen technology and suggest that hylobatids do indeed exhibit cognitive skills anticipated by their phylogenetic position among the anthropoids and perhaps exceed this position in certain cognitive skills when compared to other species of ape. In addition to providing an in-depth look into the minds and cognitive processes of hylobatids. This research also identifies the importance and advocates for the use of digital interactive technology and cognitively stimulating activities in captive settings that enhance the psychological welfare of non-human primates.