Abstract # 13393 Event # 28:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: (Room 325) Oral Presentation


DO PRIMATES TAKE IDENTITY INTO ACCOUNT WHEN GAZE FOLLOWING?: AN EXPERIMENT WITH RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA)

A. M. Arre and L. R. Santos
Yale University, Dept. of Psychology, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA
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Success as a social primate requires rapid and accurate assessment of social cues from other agents. Consequently, prioritization of cues from particularly reliable agents, or rules for preferentially attending to cues of some agents over others would be adaptive for navigating the social world. Previous work in primate social perception shows that adult primates show a strong preference for both younger and dominant faces, but we were curious whether these preferences translate to social interactions. In two separate studies (Study 1: n=48; 2: n=48), we tested whether rhesus macaques follow other monkeys’ gaze differently depending on the identity of the target. Subjects saw a gaze cue from a static image of either a high-ranking adult (Study 1) or a high-ranking infant conspecific (Study 2). Following stimuli presentation, we measured subjects’ (i) attention to the stimuli and (ii) gaze-following behavior. Overall, we found that subjects could use the adult and infant cues, making their first look in the same direction as the presenter image (i.e. gaze-following) more often (adult: 38/66 trials, p = 0.13; infant: 39/64 trials, p = 0.05) than not. However, subjects showed different patterns of habituation and looking behavior across trials. Future work will examine what is driving these results, and will seek to better understand how a subject’s age, sex, and rank affect behavioral responses.