Abstract # 13308 Poster # 108:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


THREE PRIMATE SPECIES’ (PAN TROGLODYTES, GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA, MACACA FUSCATA) RESPONSES TO A TOUCHSCREEN PRIMATE GAMBLING TASK

J. G. Leinwand, C. L. Egelkamp, S. M. Huskisson and L. M. Hopper
Lincoln Park Zoo, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, 2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA
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     Despite most humans being risk averse, we sometimes act against our own economic interests, such as when gambling. To explore the evolutionary origins of this, we are testing 12 zoo-housed primates (chimpanzees, gorillas, Japanese macaques) on the Primate Gambling Task (PGT), which tests subjects in three payout distributions. We adapted the manual PGT for use with a touchscreen and, to cater to each subject’s preferences, we used qualitatively- rather than quantitatively-different food rewards. In each trial, subjects saw pairs of stimuli representing either high value, high variance (HV), or low value, low variance (LV) rewards. Considering reward-quality net payoff, in the PGT condition LV>HV, in the reverse PGT (RPGT) HV>LV, while in the equitable PGT (EPGT), LV=HV. Subjects completed 100 trials per condition, presented in a counterbalanced manner, to disentangle the competing strategies of reward maximization and variance avoidance. We calculated subjects’ cumulative performance index across trials to determine if they learned to preferentially select the HV or LV stimuli. Data collection is ongoing; however, preliminary analyses revealed that one macaque learned to prefer the LV in the PGT and RPGT, one gorilla learned to prefer the LV in the EPGT, and one chimpanzee learned to prefer the LV in all conditions. As with manual PGT tests, our initial data suggest individual and species differences, and highlights the feasibility of administering the PGT via touchscreens.